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Vegetable Papyrus

Vegetable papyrus made from zucchinni (courgette)

Method 1

Thinly slice your vegetable and soak it in water and roll with a rolling pin each day until your vegetable is spongelike (from 1day for something like cucumber to about three weeks for carrots). Once this stage is reached place your vegetable on a cloth so that the pieces overlap. Then place another cloth on top and press for an hour or so. Remove from the press and change the cloths and keep changing the cloths until your papyrus is dry. It is at this drying stage that your papyrus might get mouldy so it is important to change the cloths at least daily.

Vegetable laminate made from carrot by steaming the carrot prior to pressing

Method 2

Instead of soaking your material you can either microwave or steam the slices of vegetable before pressing between cloths.

vegetable papyrus made from radishes which were cooked in the microwave.

Vegetable papyrus made from steamed turnips

Making True Papyrus, from the plant Cyperus papyrus

In order to make papyrus you need to cut your papyrus into lengths then peel the outside green layer off. Slice the inner core lengthways. I like to soak the strips in water for a few days at this stage and roll them with a rolling pin each day. Then lay the stips out in two layers, have one layer with the strips running up and down and the second layer have the strips going across. Place between two clean, dry cloths and put in a press. Change the cloths frequently until the sheets of papyrus are dry.

If you don't have time to soak the strips you can lay them out in the two layers and beat them with a wooden mallet or roll with a rolling pin then put in a press between clean dry cloths as before.

Copyright 1999/2010 Gail Stiffe

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