Accidental Experiments with Paste Paper

I mixed up a batch of cold-water paste this week to show my students how to back cloth with mulberry paper (DIY book cloth)  and offhandedly told them that the wheat paste mixed with acrylic paint can be used to make decorative paste papers. This is an art school, so students are pretty open to new techniques. For some reason, the only color paint they had with them was white, so I rummaged around and found some black-dyed handmade paper scraps for them to experiment on. The paper tore easily when wet, so they had to be gentle as they drew into the paste. Not like fine paste papers, nor meant to be, but I think these experiments have expressive texture, and maybe even a little soul.

When they picked up the paste paper from the scrap sheet, it was apparent to me that they had also made prints! The dye from the paper was quite fugitive and left interesting marks.

I took out another black scrap and played around, aiming for the marks left behind on the scrap paper.

I eventually ended up tinting one with the tea I was drinking and pasting down the black paper on the other for a collage. I wish I could have gotten better photos, but so be it.

You can find other paste paper techniques in Chapter 5 of Painted Paper: Techniques & Projects for Handmade Books & Cards.


Accidental experiments are often the best kind! It looks like you and your students had fun doing them, too.
Velma Bolyard said…
i love the reference to pages, to papers; paper on paper on paper. nicely done.
Anonymous said…
Brilliant! I love getting messy at times with paste!