I was inspired to make some paper, which I haven’t done for a long time, and with the tips given me by Anita Bell the whole process was less messy and more successful. Firstly keep all the equipment damp, including the cloths and deckle, and best tip, use a sponge to take off some of the water before couching the paper, not too much as otherwise the paper will stick on the frame.
The first time I tried this process I remember having pieces of wood and bricks in the kitchen to make a sort of press. Now I layer in between my blankets and there is less water about in general.
I did get air bubbles, and some pieces not pulped sufficiently, but I like my paper, so much so that it may take some time to actually work with it. The colour came from teabags and turmeric boiled up together. I also have an old liquidizer which works better than the food processor.
If you would like to see some excellent images of work by paper makers take a look at IAPMA..
I am also trying to make some paper from cucumber slices, but I don’t think my little book press is man enough for the job; I suspect it may go mouldy before I have a sheet of ‘paper’.