This is another lesson I got from Keeli, who also gave me this awesome lesson. Handmade Paper Dragon Books starts with making handmade paper (pretty self explanatory, right?). Many many years ago, I taught some summer art classes through a community Arts Council, and taught papermaking and bookmaking for a couple of summers. Because of that experience, I had a few shortcuts for the papermaking part of this project. 1.) I have no papermaking deckels, so I use a setup of plastic strawberry basket turned upside down with plastic screening then window screening.
|As you can probably tell, this has been used SEVERAL times,|
note the gross-looking paper pulp remnants.
|This, sadly, is not the grossest looking cup.|
3.) I do have a nice set of felts, so that works out.
|Nice clean felts on top of a screen with some leftover pulp stuck to it.|
4.) I have only one blender, so the students rotate through, a small group of 3-4 at a time while everyone else worked on their origami dragons.
The first 4-5 times of this project just involve students making paper: they chose paper from the scrap box, added water, Elmer's glue and some fine glitter if they wanted, blended in our thrift store blender, then poured it through the Starbucks cup held tightly over our screens in an ice cream tub,
|GROSS!!! But you get the idea of the set-up we used.|
I gave them a little talk about how the Chinese were the first to make paper, nothing big or elaborate. They kept asking "but what is this FOR?" and I just made them wait.
After everyone got to make some paper and our origami dragons were done, we started on our books. Each student got two 4"x 4" pieces of chipboard (just some leftovers I had laying around) and two 5" x 5" pieces of black paper. I showed them how to glue the black paper on the chipboard, wrapping it tightly around the edges. They then glued two popsicle sticks on and wrote their names on both. Then they received two strips of white paper, I think they were 3" x 18", and they accordian folded them and glued them together at the end to made one LONG piece of paper, and glued that to their two black pieces, making sure the popsicle sticks were at the bottom (this was difficult for some of my too-social-to-listen-to-the-teacher friends, so I had to check theirs before the glue set).
|This book isn't opened all the way because I couldn't get it to fit|
in the frame when I did, but you get the idea.
|Some of our beautiful paper after some diamonds were cut out.|
I forgot to take pictures as we were actually making the paper.
They continue adding scales to form the dragon's face, and put some on the back to form the tail.
|This student spaced their diamonds out rather than overlap. It worked.|
They also used more marbelized paper than handmade paper. Still worked.