The Society of Bluffton Artists

Paper Pulp Artistry

April Gilligan - SOBA Member

Born in Michigan with a father who was a talented artist and took the time to teach me the details of drawing, shading, color and texture, all before I was in grade school.  This started my path to developing my love for art, and the patience it takes to create the works that I do today.  While getting my Graphic Arts degree I met a Professor who worked with paper pulp to create beautiful stationary.  Looking at the textured fibers I saw the possibilities of creating images by dying the cotton fibers and shaping them.  I started this in 1983.  With years of experience, the way I dye, shape, dry and put the images together have evolved.  My Father was my biggest fan, and I’m sure he would love my pieces today.

Paper Pulp Artistry is a technique that is done in stages.

This medium and technique are time consuming, and patience is a must when creating these pieces.
Here is a step by step description of the process.

1. Scoop up the white pulp and put it in a blender.
You can purchase white pulp in art stores locally and online.

2. Add some water and some powder dye. This will shred the fibers slightly and color the cotton fibers.

2. Add some water and some powder dye. This will shred the fibers slightly and color the cotton fibers.

3. Pour it into a tub with additional water. Take a screen and dip it into the tub while making a circular motion. This will connect the fibers. using a sponge extract some of the water to help the fibers connect.

4. Flip the Paper pulp onto a felt pad and take a sponge to withdraw more of the water.

5. Tap the screen and release the pulp from the screen.

6. Shape the pulp to create an image.

7. There are many different ways to go forward from this stage. It depends on what I’m working on. When working on Pulp you work on one color at a time. To work on another color, everything needs to be bleached. These steps take time but the ending results are amazing!!


See more videos on my YouTube Channel. 

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