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New papermaker--needs advice on how to "whiten paper" w/o muting flower clrs.



I am "new" to papermaking---having only made about five batches.

I am hoping you might give me some commentary or advice---

I have developed a method, ---in which I made wire coat hangers into squares.
 I then covered each one with a discarded nylon.

I use high rag content papers and I pulverize in the food processor along
with flowers, some leaves etc. (any other suggestions would be appreciated!)

I then fill the sink----, each time I  stir the solution and dip the hangers
in.  I keep them relatively flat until most water has drained and then hang
them (by the hanger part of the wire) to dry overnight.  Then I carefully
peel them off and in some cases iron them.

One of the "recipes" I saw mentioned adding Elmer's glue---I have had what I
think are the same results with and without it---can you tell me if I should
add it and why?

If I use recycled high fiber content papers; can I make them more white by
adding a small amount of bleach (and if so, in what proportions)?

If I DO add bleach will it mute the colors of flowers and other additives--if
so, are there other ways to make a whiter paper?

How can I achieve a paper that can be written on with fountain pens???
Currently it will only accept the ink of a rollerball (I collect fountain
pens). That is paper that is less absorbent.

Do you have any simple suggestions as to how I can create a watermark on each
sheet?

Any other help or advice you might offer would be most appreciated.
many thanks

Robert B. Dickerson
Director of Public Education, IDP
The George Washington University Medical School
Historian, on detail to
The White House
RBDWH@aol.com   or
Rdickers@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu


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