Updated: Feb 22
How I used test prints to lessen the paper waste
As a beginner and experimental printmaker, I do a lot of test prints. Meaning I produce a lot of paper rubbish. I wanted somehow to reuse these.
After a bit of thinking, I thought of basket weaving. I had learned a basic basket weaving using grass. I knew paper would never be as strong as grass, but surely there must be a way to use paper for weaving? And I found one way of making baskets with paper tubes.
First you need to make tubes by rolling strips of paper using thin knitting needles. You can find quite a few instructive videos on YouTube.
Here are the first ones I have made, coated with varnish to harden and make them stronger.
I had some more paper which were printed on thicker quality papers but did not make the editions. They were too thick to be rolled as paper tubes, so I looked for another way to make baskets out of paper.
I found beautiful baskets made with NZ flax (harakeke) using raranga technique, which I thought could be made with paper. At first I tried square-bottomed, round basket called Kono, but paper was not strong enough and it was tricky for me to weave. So I have glued two strips together and tried more straight forward weaving as shown on left.
Then I dived in to make Konos using 1cm strips of paper.
I think they turned out very pretty, and these paper were about to go into the bin! I am very glad to have re-used these test prints and edition rejects. Now I even look forward to collecting some test prints :)