The paper used in all our projects is made of natural fibres from banana stems, mulberry bark, pineapple leaves and many other plants grown in the backyard of the studio or sourced locally. At Paper Destination we aim to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible by sourcing raw material locally. The fibres are extracted from the plants mainly by retting, a process that involves steeping in rainwater for six weeks or more allowing microbes to degrade non fibre plant parts. Further refining of the fibres is done by boiling in lye or caustic soda for two to four hours followed by washing to remove black liquor. Fibres are pulped either by hand beating with a wooden mallet on a smooth stone, or using a kitchen grinder, the kind used to make rice batter. Depending on end use, the pulp is bleached with hydrogen peroxide. Paper is made in vats using a standard mould and deckle, couched on cotton cloth, pressed between wooden boards to squeeze out excess water, and air dried. Unbleached pulp from different plant fibres often has interesting colours and mixing them allows collages and “pulp paintings” to be made in the process of pulling sheets from the vat.
Collages are made by placing coloured papers, leaves, or fibre inclusions on new paper in the process of forming the paper using the mould and deckle.
Pulp paintings are made using different coloured fibres instead of paints. Each painting is thus an unique work of art