Handmade paper has a unique texture and an individual quality that makes it not only a surface to write or print on, but also an object of beauty. With a small investment in equipment (or the supplies to make it from scratch), a small harvest of backyard weeds or garden plants, and the guidance of papermaking expert Helen Hiebert, anyone can make exquisite papers right in the home kitchen. Hiebert’s basic papermaking techniques, laid out in illustrated step-by-step instructions, make it easy to blend and shape a variety of organic papers from such common plants as hosta, milkweed, and thistledown, as well as the more unusual pineapple, yucca, and seaweed. She describes how to collect, harvest, and process the plant fibers and then create sheets using both Western and Japanese techniques. Inspired by the community of papermaking artists she is a part of, Hiebert features profiles of papermakers from around the world, highlighting their individual tips and techniques. She also includes project instructions for using handmade paper to create one-of-a-kind cards and envelopes, multi-paneled lampshades, and accordion-fold books. There are also instructions for embellishing techniques such as adding flower petals, creating collages, and dyeing with richly colored walnut shells. From plant to finished paper, the simple completeness and beauty of Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds will appeal to craftspeople, gardeners, environmentalists, teachers, and anyone who enjoys creating from nature.
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