on saturday i took a paste paper workshop at minnesota center for book arts. i had no idea what paste paper was, and i didn’t try too hard to figure it out beforehand — i wanted to be surprised by something new.
and it was really fun! the gist: you make paste with corn starch, cake flour, or methyl cellulose, and mix in color (we used acrylic paints). then wet down a large sheet of paper, and brush on the paste.
and then you make patterns! we used combs, nubby soap dishes, grouting tools, and a ton of squeegees that were cut apart. we mixed and swirled and got messy.
i’ll admit that it was tough to let those little imperfections go… a smudge here, a crooked line there… you can start over as many times as you want (it’s a lot like finger painting), but in the end i accepted that it’s better to love your “happy accidents” and move on to the next sheet.
i now have 25 big sheets of paste paper! you’ll see more of them in book-form some day. and i’m thinking that making paste paper would be a really great outdoor summer pARTy activity.
a bonus to my day: finding my burst journals in the center’s gift shop!