Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Handmade wedding

Just finished two large wedding orders of tented cards made from plantable paper. There are many steps to make an order for a wedding. First, I gather together all the paper scraps that I will need to make the order, making sure I can make a consistent color all the way through multiple batches. Then, I shred the paper scraps into small pieces so that they can be ground up with water without stressing my blender motor. Next, I make a slurry (aka a big vat of pulp), add wildflower seeds and then "pull" sheets of paper using an ancient technique invented by the Chinese and still used today by hand papermakers. It involves using a wood frame with a screen pulled tightly across (called a mold) and another frame called a deckle (which is where the term "deckle" edge comes from when referring to the feathery edge of handmade paper). For large orders, I have to make several batches of paper and repeat the process over until I have enough sheets of paper.

Once all the paper is made, I let it dry and then cut it down into the size the wedding couple needs, then trim it and fold it. There is a smooth side of every sheet (where the paper was against the screen) that makes a good surface for writing the names of guests, but you can still see all the yummy seeds. A lot of work goes into every order, and I think that handwork shows without the paper looking homemade. Very satisfying!

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