I discovered a remarkable property of water during a papermaking workshop taught by Lorena Salcedo-Watson, Gallery North, Setauket, NY. Many pairs of wet hands stirred and sieved and sculpted. But in the end, it was water that made the paper.
Adding torn, soaked paper pulp to a blender filled with water, we pulsed it so finely that it essentially thickened the water. Blending in other fibrous substances–dried flower petals, corn husk fibers, even a cut-up currency note from Costa Rica–gave each handmade sheet its character. Using a screen mounted to a hand-held frame, we sieved the pulp into a sheet. Watching the water drain, the paper formed.
“This is simple,” said Lorena Salcedo-Watson, below, left. “You need to dedicate yourself to this.”