HomeForum

Forum

Note: The forum uses a separate login system to the galleries.

You are not logged in.

Options

mache pulp /clay question

#1 2012-12-18 23:08:50

tkaz79
Member
Registered: 2012-12-18
Posts: 6

mache pulp /clay question

I'm just diving into the PM world so yesterday was my first attempt at making the pulp. I did what was mentioned in all the tips and tricks i can find..... however.... i only have paper bags to work with. ( the little lunch bags).

At first everything was looking good, till i started putting the paste in (glue and water) and tried to work it in really good, however, it came out chunky and made the project heavy...  sad   No matter what did, i couldn't get it smooth like whats in the videos and such. I like using the paper bags because its easy for me to get and the natural color for some projects look good. People seem to like the natural look too..

Is there a trick to making paper bags into pulp? I did not boil it, just soaked it in water for a day. I'm able to finish this project, despite the pulp attempt /fail....

any tips for turning this type of paper into pulp / clay like texture is much appreciated....

Tkaz

Last edited by tkaz79 (2012-12-18 23:10:23)

Offline

 

#2 2012-12-19 02:05:19

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: mache pulp /clay question

If you could still see individual pieces of paper when you added the adhesive, the problem was that you didn't get the fibers in the paper separated.

There are three basic methods:  cooking, soaking for a longer period of time, or beating them to death.  Or a combination.  Some people soak, then cook, then beat.

Beating them usually requires the use of an electric blender or a food processor.  Acquiring one of these used from a thrift shop is usually best, rather than using your kitchen unit.  Also pick up a fairly fine wire sieve/food strainer (like this: http://fentrader.com/shopping/pgm-more_ … 4&=SID) and a container for it to drain into.

Fill the blender or food processor about 2/3 to 3/4 full of water *.  Add some paper (previously soaked is best), and then whirl it until it's mostly liquid.  Pour the mix into the strainer and let it drain.  If you have a finer strainer, or maybe even a coffee filter, you might be able to strain some of the finer stuff that went through the first time.  All that milky stuff in the water is fine paper fibers, good stuff if you can collect it.

* Too little water will cause the blender motor to work too hard and burn up.

Add your adhesive and mix well.

Sue

Offline

 

#3 2012-12-19 04:59:17

tkaz79
Member
Registered: 2012-12-18
Posts: 6

Re: mache pulp /clay question

ok cool.... sounds like i just didn't let it soak long enough then. I used a drill with a mixer attachment on it. Going to let it sit over night in hot water, then boil it in the morning and beat it death! See what that gets me.

Also, I was wondering some recipes call for a bit of chalk, was wondering why and if plaster of paris would be acceptable instead?

Thank you for your reply!!!

Offline

 

#4 2012-12-19 10:14:28

dopapier
Moderator
From: UK
Registered: 2004-12-04
Posts: 749

Re: mache pulp /clay question

The chalk is basically a filler, making the whole mix smoother.  Plaster of paris can work but I suggest doing a small trial first.  The problem is that it is a fast setter so unless it is mixed in very quickly it will be lumpy.  It is also very hard when dry so if you sand the finished pulp, the paper will abrade faster than the filler and leave an uneven surface.


I'm a PM addict

Offline

 

#5 2012-12-19 19:43:44

bmaskmaker
Member
From: Takoma Park, MD
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 93

Re: mache pulp /clay question

You can use paper bags and cardboard, in my experience they need to soak longer (and if you can make the water they soak in hot or boiling to start, that helps too.)

Then I agree with what Sue mentioned, blend the paper with water.  You can do it with a drill mixer, but don't put any fillers in yet ... (ie, you're pulping the paper and making paper slurry first -- as though you're going to make handmade paper -- then, when you're ready to make pulp clay ... strain out most of the water, and add the rest of your ingredients. 

An alternative is to strain all the water out that you can get, and then let the paper clumps and pellets dry.  And then use the blender, or drill or spice grinder to make paper 'fluff'.  The advantage of this is that you have a dry paper ingredient that you can add to get your clay to the right consistency (vs. having a too wet clay) ...

Let us know how it goes!

-- b

Offline

 

#6 2012-12-19 22:44:27

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: mache pulp /clay question

David is right about using plaster, it starts to harden VERY fast.  If you could use it at all, you would have to make very small batches individually, apply as fast as you can, smooth, then make another batch and repeat.  Plaster sets up in minutes.

Another thing to try would be joint compound, of the regular type, not fast-setting or any special variety.  Don't use the DAP brand or any made by DAP under other names (look at manufacturer in fine print on label), as they've added something that ruins the whole recipe.

Sue

Offline

 

#7 2012-12-20 00:11:53

tkaz79
Member
Registered: 2012-12-18
Posts: 6

Re: mache pulp /clay question

ok thnx!!!!

I got the paper into mush like its suppose to be now. Now to just let it dry out and fluff it up!! I boiled the water and let it sit for a bit this morning.. figure out I wasn't using the drill part right, kept the water in it (like I saw in videos) though, all it was doing was spinning the water around. I dumped the water out and blended it again and it did the trick. Dunno what the guys in the videos were doing, but it wasn't working for me!!

(course, nothing is working for me today...one of those *why did I get out of bed again* kind of days!!!!   /cries) ....

I was asking about the plaster because its all I have.. but it is Dap brand too.. Either way it wouldn't work from the sounds of it. Husband is willing to get the joint compound later on, so that's a future experiment! smile

Offline

 

#8 2012-12-20 02:23:34

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: mache pulp /clay question

I bought one of those drill attachments and it was a dead loss.  The centrifugal force just spun the contents around in the bucket.  I've seen some food mixer blades at the thrift shop -- wonder how they would do if attached to a drill?

Sue

Offline

 

#9 2012-12-21 09:31:31

mavigogun
Member
From: Istanbul
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 106

Re: mache pulp /clay question

I have about 20 liters of (mostly dry) pulp sitting in a tub in front of me, just now- all processed with a drill mounted mixing attachment.    Some of my thoughts on pulping with a drill:

A deflection wall on the side of the mixing vessel would help prevent the batch from spinning and encourage constant entrainment of circulating pulp by the blades; this could take the form of a strip attached to the inside of the vessel.   Alternatively, place the mixing head to one side of the mixing vessel, and decline from vertical.

There is no need to shred news paper before pulping- separate and soak the pages, then mix.   For the first few minutes, pages will wind around the mixer until broken down- just stop, free the blade, and continue.

Keep in mind that pulping will increase the volume of the paper significantly; as a rough guide, fill your mixing vessel no more than half full of wet paper, add water to cover.   Once pulped to satisfaction, volume will be significantly increased; top off the vessel and boil for an hour to further digestion, disperse any stubborn bits of pigment, and open fibers.

For me at this juncture, by far the most labor intensive portion of pulp production is unmechanized expressing of water from the pulp; I will be investing in an electric controlled press to make quick work of it. 

---

About plaster in pulp...

PVA glue may be employed to retard setting of the plaster for many hours- the more glue, the longer the set time.   According to the late Jointy (peace be with him), mix the PVA with the pulp first, then add the plaster- try a 3-4 parts glue to 1 plaster ratio as a starting point for exploration.

Last edited by mavigogun (2012-12-21 09:33:31)

Offline

 

#10 2012-12-21 20:25:58

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: mache pulp /clay question

Mavigogun, would you mind posting a link to a photo of the head of the attachment that you use?  There seem to be a few kinds, and I would like to get one that actually works.

Sue

Offline

 

#11 2012-12-22 06:59:34

bmaskmaker
Member
From: Takoma Park, MD
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 93

Re: mache pulp /clay question

I use a drill mixer attachment to mix my pulp clay as well.  Tho I start with pre-shredded newspaper (the kind that comes in bales for blown insulation at the big box stores), so too much water isn't my issue. 

I premix my wet ingredients (paste + joint compound) and then mix in my shredded paper a bit at a time, until I get the consistency I want for the clay.  The mixer blades sometimes get paper built up on them in the beginning, I just clean them off.  And the mixing technique always feels like making brownie mix to me ... ultimately the consistency is the same -- so I can see the swirls from where my mixer has moved through the pulp. 

The attachment I use is a jiffy mixer with 2 wheels.  (Looks a little like flower petals/pinwheel with holes in them).  I don't like the ones that look more like a swirled whisk ...

I've seen both of them in the 'mud mixing' section.  But I like the Jiffy one better. 

I have a video somewhere that I made of me making the pulp clay.  I'll see if I can unearth it ...  : )

-- b

Offline

 

#12 2012-12-22 08:16:40

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: mache pulp /clay question

Well, thanks, but don't unearth it just for me -- my antique computer can't show videos.  My opsys is Windows 2000 if that is a clue...

Sue

Offline

 

#13 2012-12-22 12:05:27

mavigogun
Member
From: Istanbul
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 106

Re: mache pulp /clay question

My mixing head sucks- I'm sure there must be better designs for the task.   For what it's worth:

http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/server1700/ … 0.1280.jpg

Offline

 

#14 2012-12-28 02:30:59

tkaz79
Member
Registered: 2012-12-18
Posts: 6

Re: mache pulp /clay question

That's the same mixer I have. I was trying those suggestions, actually held the bucket between my feet and held it that way!! It didn't seem like it was doing anything until I dumped out the water. I'll most likely keep doing it that way since it worked!

Thank you all for the suggestions!! It has been a great help... goin to try making another batch tomorrow and see if I can make it this time!!! smile

Offline

 

#15 2012-12-28 02:56:35

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: mache pulp /clay question

Always remember that papier mache is an experiment.  You learn by trial and error what you can get away with, and what you can't.

And keep any work with food-based adhesive (like flour) out of reach of the dog.  Trust me on this!

Sue

Offline

 

#16 2012-12-28 07:51:20

mavigogun
Member
From: Istanbul
Registered: 2009-04-22
Posts: 106

Re: mache pulp /clay question

CatPerson wrote:

Always remember that papier mache is an experiment.  You learn by trial and error what you can get away with, and what you can't.

Ain't that the truth?   Sometimes information gaps seem like a burden- if so, we'd do well to embrace it: process discovery has ever put artists on the bleeding edge of science.   At core, being an artist means being a tool maker; while consumer markets may obscure that, the capacity to innovate and create what is needed to realize artistic vision remains fundamental to great art.

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson