Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Learn to make papyrus paper from dried vegetables

First things first!

Tricia Anders gave an art blog award to this site, much to my delight and surprise. (Thanks so much, Tricia! )

Arte y Pico

There are 5 rules attached to this award:

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and that also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.

3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.

4. The Award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte Y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. To show these rules.

These are my blog picks:

Kim Larson Art

Jen Worden

Sarah-Lynda Johnson

Stacy Zimmerman


Congratulations, everyone!


A few weeks ago, I wrote about Margaret Dorfman, the artist who makes beautiful art bowls from papyrus that she makes herself from dried vegetables. I am a real fan of her work and have purchased a number of her pieces. However, her process has remained a mystery to me….that is until yesterday when my friend, Julia, sent me instructions for a similar paper papyrus process.

"To be classed as true paper, the thin sheets must be made from fiber that has been macerated until each individual filament is a separate unit; the fibers are then intermixed with water, and, by the use of a sieve-like screen, are lifted from the water in the form of a thin stratum, the water draining through the small openings of the screen leaving a sheet of matted fiber upon the screen's surface. This thin layer of intertwined fiber is paper."

• Thin slice vegetable. A variety of vegetables can be used for this process. The ones that are not recommended are:


Prickly pear

Potatoes- too starchy


Method One:

* Soak in water.
* Total number of soaking days is dependent attributes of the vegetable. Cucumbers are quicker than carrots.

Method Two:

* Some light cooking is used in conjunction with soaking.
* Cooking shortens the number of days needed to reach the desired consistency.

Shared Method:

* Roll vegetable slice daily with a rolling pin until the vegetable becomes spongy (time varies):

Cucumber - 1 day
* Carrots = may take several weeks Lay out the "paper" on pellon. Place vegetable on a cloth so that the pieces overlap.
* Place another cloth on top and press for approximately an hour.
* Remove from the press and change the cloths and keep changing the cloths until your papyrus is dry.
* The cloths must be changed a minimum of once a day to reduce the risk of mold. This is the time when mold is most likely to occur.

Here is a picture of papyrus made from thinly sliced radish.

Radish Papyrus

Day One:

* Sliced 3/32”
* Microwave – 1 min - uncovered
* Microwave – 1 min – uncovered
* Microwave – 2 min – uncovered
* Microwave – 2 min – uncovered
* Soak
* Not refrigerated

Day Two - Four:

* Roll out
* Soak (water changed)
* Not refrigerat

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Stacy Alexander