Many handmade papers are art works in their own right. Paper makers often frame especially unique pieces of hand-made paper to show in exhibitions. Paper can be made of many and varied substances cotton and hemp, flax leaves and many other plant fibers all make a wonderful variety of organic papers. Other parts of the plant like flowers and seeds may be added during the process for decoration of the finished paper.
We use paper for many things in our life the most obvious of which would be for books and newspapers and for writing on, but there are other uses for paper that would be more obscure or certainly less thought about. One of these is ‘insulation’. Insulation is made from shredded newsprint that is treated with a fire retardant and packed into the cavities in the loft space. It is cheap and or even free and easily obtainable, but should not be used when there is a risk of damp as it is susceptible to mold. Paper is used extensively for protective packaging and in many industries. Money is made of paper and toilet paper too.
Artists use paper in many ways, silk screen printing relies on paper for unusual and interesting results and many handmade papers are entirely suitable for the process. Sculptural pieces may also be made of craft paper, free standing, constructed, three dimensional forms. A strong, stiffer paper or card is probably the most suitable type for this purpose. An artist may also use paper to construct a maquette for a piece of sculpture prior to its construction. Architects also use paper or thin card to construct models of a building to show prospective clients.