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Papermaking in Kamo

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Established in 1989 The Papermill is "a safe, vibrant creative space where artists with intellectual disabilities create handmade paper and works of art from natural fibres and recycled paper."

On Wednesday 16th November Tai Tokerau Timebank ran a highly successful papermaking workshop in partnership with The Papermill, Organisational Members of TTT.

We were welcomed into the Papermill by their lovely people, and after a brief introduction got stuck into making paper!

We teamed up with Becky and Julia who supported and guided us through the process, skilfully taught by Amie, their paper making tutor.

The whole process is hands-on, creative and very rewarding. We began by hand mulching used, shredded paper in water which was then transferred to the Hollander machine to be turned into paper pulp. While the Hollander did its work, we chopped up agapanthas leaves for future paper making.

The next stage was selecting some ‘inclusions’ which we added to the pulp so that they become integrated into the final paper sheets as decoration.

The sheets are created by scooping A4 moulds (composed of a frame held over metal sieving), through the paper pulp bath, draining the water off, removing the frame and then rolling the pulp onto sheets of felt. These get stacked up between Perspex separators and are squeezed in the big hand press removing the last of the water. The sheets are then laid out to dry on metal racks.

We enjoyed a lunch break with the Papermill team who afterwards got busy with their community work, taking care of the place—cleaning, washing and tidying etc.

In the afternoon we made little cards and envelopes.

Leaving our papermaking sheets to dry, we all helped to clear up and clean the work space before joining the rest of the Papermill team for 1/2hr of learning and practising sign language!

We are very grateful to the Papermill for such an inspiring, enjoyable and creative day.

This event was a great success and was made possible with the support of the Whangārei District Creative Communities Scheme.

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