Sunday, May 19, 2013

Paper Project: making Chris' Wedding Invitation Stock

This entry is a follow up from the Paper Wren Press Blog entry here.  I am placing this entry here on the Printer's Blog because this blog is where I keep educational and information oriented articles.  If you followed the link, you will have read Part 2, the printing of the Invitation.  This is Part 1, the making of the card stock used.  Chris is the Groom, and wanted maximum creative involvement in the creation of his and his Bride-to-be's wedding suite.  What better way than to make the paper?


Above is the home-made beater. The barrel is a sawed-off Jack Daniels Whiskey barrel, made waterproof by an inner liner.  The axle of the main pulley (bicycle wheel) holds about five sickle-like blades which rotate between fixed metal vanes attached to the inner lining of the bucket, with a few tenths of an inch clearing.  The paper fibers are not cut, but beaten, hydrating them.  The beater wheel is belted, as you can see, to a half horse motor.


Here is Chris feeding the beater.  The pulp contained burlap, cotton, and recycled printed paper, probably from an old Encyclopedia.  Not....too old, we're not ripping up collector items.  There was some plant clippings that found their way into the mix, plus some charred wood from the barrel itself.


This is Josh, pulling a home made mould through the mix.  Josh has been working on this paper system for better part of a year, now, beginning with a self-cycling garbage disposal system, and slowly honing his system to improve his results.  Chris and Josh both designed their latest beater, which actually resembles a Japanese design.  Oh, and Josh made the mould and deckle.


Josh inspecting the pull.  One of the challenges was to produce something like consistent thickness, since these sheets are slated for Letterpress Printing.  There is very little sizing in this mix, I think Josh mentioned adding some Calcium from charred bone.


Josh pulling the mould from the deckle.


Posing for the Camera.  A little James Dean action here.


Couching on the blanket.


A little forced-air help.


There ya go! A good release.


A few hours later, and we have a lay-out ready for pressing and drying.


Gathering the sheets from the blanket.


These sheets were pressed with metal interleaves, under the pressure of a hydraulic jack.


Chris is "candling" each sheet visually to determine which sheets to send off to Paper Wren Press for printing.


And finally, the finished product.  There are about one hundred 5x7" (approx) sheets here.  All told, Chris and Josh made about 200 sheets, 150 of which were selected for use.

So here ya go, the "behind the scenes" story. The Paper Wren Press blog entry describes the actual printing of these sheets.  

We hope you enjoyed reading this piece.  All photos were taken by Chris Rupp, the paper maker is Josh Rustin, one of our local DeLand resident artisan craftsmen and artist.

-gary.


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