Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Potion Book Project--curing the pages

So today was spent curing the pages for the potion book project. First step? Print out aaaaall the pages--which ended up being around 30 pages.

Prepped the bath of tea. I just used basic black tea, mostly because that was the tea I had the most of. Roughly 8 bags of tea for every 3 cups of water or so.

Crinkled up the paper. First couple pages I was just crumpling up half-heartedly, but in later (better) steps, I crumpled up the paper very hard and tight, which made for more and smaller creases that the tea could soak into, and yieleded more of the type of paper I wanted.

Uncrumpled the paper, and submerged it in the tea bath.

At first, I started out by soaking the paper for a solid five minutes. This proved to be fairly unnecessary, so towards the end, I ended up soaking them for more like 30 seconds.

I laid the page down on the workspace I had constructed; a dishtowel laid over the stove's burner covers (giving a bit of an incline to the page, which allowed the tea to drain off), followed by a paper towel, which proved useful so that the ink didn't stain the towel (which turned out out to be a genius precaution). Some pages received a roughing up with a fork, or extra creases.

Next step (learned through trial and error) was to take a cup of hot water and drop in some new tea bags. I then used these for a kind of makeshift brush and proceeded to pat some new tea onto the page. This allowed for a two-toned color, and ensured that the tea got into the small cracks from the crumbling up. The result was the super crackly/ancient looking marbleized paper.

For the finishing touch, I placed the page on a cookie sheet (with a parchment piece of paper underneath), and baked at 200 degrees for five minutes. The paper dried and came out warped and crackly, but not brittle.

And for a bit of a comparison:

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