Use of Natural Sugar Paper from Waste Remnants to create a Series of Four A2 Prints
Sugar paper or construction paper has been made by combining wood pulp, recycled paper, and dye. Wood pulp basically consists of shredded wood that is mixed with hot water until it gets mushy. More recently agricultural waste has been capitalised upon to make sugar paper. The texture is slightly rough, and the surface is unfinished. Due to the source material, mainly natural pulp, small particles are visible on the paper’s surface which made the paper type ideal for screen-printing and the investigation of a range of different sugar paper types. The roughness of the surface quality of sugar paper created impactful areas of mark making through print, imprint, and resist. The use of resist exploited the grain and textural qualities of the paper and the sugarcane by-product waste.
A mix of imagery was used from a selection of screens which centred around the natural surface qualities of a great many natural forms especially from marine and coastal environments. Apart from the addition of deep pink a simplified colour palette of black and pale green printing inks was preferred given the transparency of the pale green which contrasted with the textured paper surface and the solidity of the black. Some of the mark making was created by not cleaning the screens and allowing additional imprints to be made with the use of shredded wastepaper and recycled haberdashery items like threads, fringing and ribbon which were left on and removed from the screens between prints.
I was once more led by the material in use and how it reacted and responded to each print, imprint and the use of resist. Less individual and unique stencilling work was undertaken given the investigative nature of the creative sampling processes including the examination of the surface qualities of sugar paper. The rough and unfinished surface texture of the sugar paper meant that it proved to be relatively easy to print onto as it absorbed the print well without any distortion. Its overall resilence and strength evidenced the beauty and uniqueness of waste, of the benefits of using recycled and repurposed materials.
In using sugarcane by-product waste in the production of sugar paper it has clearly demonstrated that agricultural waste can be used in the production of paper instead of wood pulp from trees. Every two boxes of sugar sheet paper can save one 30ft tree and in doing so this reduces the scale of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Agricultural fibre waste can then be diverted from landfill sites and used to make paper to enable the trees to do what they do best…save the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide.