Friday, March 02, 2012

Restructured paper

First read about restructured paper on The Gingerstamp Creations blog in an article written by Petra Berendson here!  I thought it would be a perfect way to use up scraps to make paper for reusing in my art!! We all have papers we love and hate to see any of it go to waste.  In this technique you can create a base of basic paper and then embellish it with any scraps you want to highlight.
I have been saving these newsletters that my sister gave me for a long time and even though they have been sitting I have not read all of them but they were much too beautiful to throw out
or recycle.  So when I read this article I thought they would be the perfect candidates for my first attempt!!  So I went through the pile, read four of them, tore out the articles I wanted to keep and ripped all the remaining pages into 9 pieces. It created quite a stack!!
To get started, I laid a large piece of plastic over my table, thinned some PVA glue and found a foam brush.  The process is easy.  Apply thinned glue to both sides of the paper scraps and lay them down on the plastic overlapping them all as you go.  These are calligraphy guild newsletters so there is some
beautiful writing and great illustrations which created  very interesting looking paper.  I will be using some of this paper to create art for the calendar I am making with my group of young people so I resisted using colour and kept it neutral.
You can see in the top photo the wet restructured paper on the right and the loose pieces on the left.  I can see really having fun with this process using all sorts of scraps.
For this piece of restructured paper I used graphics which were postage from printed envelopes which my sister gave me a few years ago.  These were all owl images  - over 50 or so - which I just glued in rows overlapping each other.  It was a very strong graphic look and I wanted to tone it down some so I added strips of copper and kraft tissue paper, some less than perfect skeleton leaves and some layers of paper napkin that coordinated with the colours I already had.  Everything is overlapping and completely soaked with the thinned glue which creates a new solid piece once it is dry.  I dried the first one over night. The second one I did during the day and found that it took several hours(4-5 hours) to dry but that could vary with temperature and humidity.
I know I will be using this process again. It is very similar in the construction process as fabric paper which I did a while back.  I really like the graphic look of the black and white paper I created and it will do perfectly for the calendar art I am planning.  The coloured one is great as well and I already have a project in mind for it.
I love reusing paper scraps to create unique papers for my art which is why I recycle my scraps into handmade paper.  This process is equivalent in that it reuses scraps as well as larger pieces and creates unique handmade papers for creating with.  You can use old calendar pages, greeting cards, tissue paper, paper napkins, junk mail, handwritten letters, "mistakes", etc.
I hope you will be inspired to create your own restructured paper or to pass your scraps off to someone else who is interested in the process.  You could arrange to swap scraps for unique handcrafted pieces of paper!!!  This would be a fun process for doing as a group as well.   Enjoy!!  Let me know if you give this a try.  I would love to see the paper you have created and the project you used it in.