The Bulrush Paper Making Adventure

The Bulrush Paper Making Adventure.

In a galaxy far, far away…….well, actually, not so far away, this adventure started with an excited message from paper maker Cher McGrath. ‘Someone has cut down a heap of bulrushes, on the side of a wetland area in Moana!’ After debating if these had been cut down to improve the view for the resident ducks, then seeking council approval to remove some of the cut bulrushes, we were allowed to collect them. Why so excited over some water reeds? Well, these are full of fibre, and fibre is fabulous for papermaking.  A retrieval team was formed with Cher (studio assistants Scooter and Nashi), artist Joanne Mildenhall, Pete and myself.

We collected a lot of bulrushes, and unloaded some at Cher’s place, the rest made it to my place. The bulrushes were then snipped into smallish pieces and allowed to soak for several months.

The pieces were then boiled, and beaten, by the indefatigable Cher.

Finally, it was papermaking day. The team reassembled to use not only the bulrush fibre for paper, but recycled paper, and aloe fibres. Initially, we have made about 60 sheets of paper each.

Now I am working on the next step, of what to print on this wonderful paper.