I am now 3 weeks in to a paper-making course with some of the P3, P4, and P5 kids from Ballyhackett Primary school and we are all having great fun, just have a look!
The kids know all the equipment they need and how to set out their tables to be ready to work. Mostly they work in pairs taking turns drawing out each sheet of paper, turning them onto the couching cloths and then absorbing excess moisture with a sponge before removing the mold.
This week the kids coordinated with their partners as they choose what colour paper they made. After making a couple of sheets with recycled shredded office paper and coloured napkins, they started to add textures to their vats from an assortment of things I brought along. The glittery stars were very popular. We also had wool, dryer lint, dried artichoke fibre. The children experimented with the materials and saw how they effected the texture of each sheet as they drew sheets from the vat.
Paper-making is such a tactile process and changing the makeup of the vat after each sheet allows the kids to get a feel for what textures they like as well as observing the changes in colour and thickness of the sheets as the makeup of the vat changes. A further stage is learning how much pulp to add after each sheet is drawn to maintain a desired consistency, and then documenting favourite recipes by proportion so they can be repeated.