Making Something New Out Of Something Old

In 2013 we had ex-tropical cyclone Dylan pass our doorstep and I learnt about lot about how the rain comes down during the wet season in Queensland… it comes down hard… and sideways … and gets into the house.

To cut a long story short, our house leaked. Specifically it leaked in a couple of places we didn’t know and I lost some of my belongings to water damage. The most heart breaking was the leak in the Studio. It pooled under my visual art diaries that were on the floor waiting for their new home in my art cupboard. I lost artwork that I had been creating since high school.

I managed to salvage some but lost more than I care to think about.  The hardest part for ‘Bec the Hoarder’ was to actually throw the damaged visual diaries out. How could I part with my art history??  Quite simply, I didn’t. The idea was born that I would turn it into recycled paper and give it a new life.

And so, the other day my journey began.

I filled a tub with warm water and filled it with paper about 1cm square. I left this to soak for about 48 hours.
my pieces of paper soaking

To make the pulp my guide book says to make it in a bottle and after leaving it sit you just shake the bottle. I thought using my stick blender in the tub was going to be easier than that.  I was left with a grey porridge pulpy mix.

it needs to be a consistency like porridge

Next, using the mould and screens I started making my little pieces of paper.

the soupy mix      in the mould     the mix and the mould

They get flattened out in the mould, then laid out on newspaper and cloth and you sponge the water out.

my first page

Lay another piece of cloth over the top and start the process again.

My first batch has made 21 pieces of varying thicknesses. I am pretty happy with the result.
I am waiting for this batch to dry and already planning my next lot of colours.

My first batch drying         One of my final pages

There are mottled pieces from a variety of old artworks and coloured paper. I am repurposing my old artwork and feel like it is being given a new lease of life.

Stay turned for what I make out of these pieces!
Dream Big