No, the sun does not always shine in Africa…Cape Town is chilly and wet, not exactly brilliant weather for drying my paper mache. Its taking days and days…and the only way to handle this is to keep making more so eventually you have many pieces in different stages of drying…a tip for those as impatient as I am!
Can you believe that it took me so long to figure out an easy way to squeeze all the water out of my paper pulp? So there I was, pushing the water logged pulp through my kitchen sieve, which takes TIME, when I has a one of those rare light bulb moments…and so here is the EASY way of squeezing the water out of your pulp:
Find a old big piece of netting type material, place over a container and throw in your pulp. Gather up the top and squeeze…oh so so simple!
It works!! This is totally amazing…have I discovered something new? Probably not but this may be as new to you to as it was to me!
Someone mentioned that you can make glue from RICE…so I thought this would be ideal for more making my paper mache clay. If I used rice glue instead of flour perhaps this would make an even better clay! Somehow feels more traditional as I am sure the Chinese / Japanese never grew wheat, only rice…which means they had to have used this to make their paper mache?
You make rice glue by boiling up a sticky rice like sushi rice (or basmati) until it looks less like rice and more like porridge…you need to add more water than you would normally do. I just nuked the rice for just over half an hour, making sure I had plenty water in the bowl. Then into the blender (once cold) adding more water and blending into a thick “cream”…almost good enough to eat! Actually you can eat it… if you get hungry enough.
Then I made the paper mush as I have done before – boiling the paper and blending it into a pulpy mess with lots of water. After squeezing out most of the water from the mushy paper pulp I poured in some of the rice glue. (One cup of rice makes LOTS of glue; I stored the left over glue in the fridge, which according to wiki you can…for how long I do not know.)
The result was really cool and I think the best paper mache clay I have made so far…it feels divine and is a lot more smooth in texture than the other batches made with flour. What is really really cool is that this is totally ORGANIC paper mache…LOL! no chemicals at all (okay, added a teaspoon of bleach into the mixture to help it last longer…but I dont have to do that!)
I am going to test storing this clay in the fridge and see what happens…I must also try freezing batches…who knows, this may actually work.
I have tested the clay out on a few things and will see if this dries as well as the flour clay… I really hope so!