I pulled my second set of sheets this past weekend. Basically I am on hour 3 of the 10000 needed for mastery. But it is getting there. It is kind of relaxing.
We will take it as read that I have the vat charged. Here I am getting ready to put my mould and deckle together. In most moulds, the screen is attached to the mould. I actually like this one better because it is easier to clean off and couch the sheets.
Then you dip the mould into the vat. In general, you start away from you and pull it towards you.
It is hard to show the detail. First notice, the screen is completely covered. And I am doing very little shaking. Compared to the first sheets I pulled, these are much more smooth. The fiber was beaten much more finely. That is the big difference. And I am getting less clumping.
Draining the sheets. It takes a lot of water to make paper and then you need to give rid of a lot of water. This is another reason I like the removeable screen; easier to drain. Notice, the paper fibers aren’t moving anywhere. It is not very strong because it is so wet but they are holding together well enough to resist gravity.
Now couching (rhymes with smooching) the sheet onto a felt. It is not necessarily actually felt. Felt is just jargon for whatever wick-able substance you try the paper on. Several of these are built up into a post.
Here is the post on the press.
I transfer the sheets onto boards to dry and as proof of concept, it works! As you can see, when the sheets are dry enough, they start to peel off the boards by themselves.
Ok. They look like crap. I will grant you that. These are much smoother than the first sheets. There are tears and folds due to poor technique by me. Those will get better with time. And I need to glaze them yet. That should help with smoothness as well. I think they are too thin for the purpose as well. But for early stages learning something? I will take it.
Might pull some more before Artisan’s Day but if I don’t, I feel I can demonstrate the process well enough to talk about it.