Friday, 12 April 2013

Ginkgo Paper

The Ginkgo is a beautiful tree. Every year late Summer/Early Autumn the leaves are mature enough to pick and turn into the most unique paper. I do have to get there before they fall and begin to rot on the ground.

My Ginkgo Tree

A trug full of leaves translates into a pot full of leaves and caustic soda.

After it has cooked down for about 15 minutes.
After an hour or so the leaves are all brown and the outer cuticle begins to separate away from the veins inside. Time to rinse off the caustic soda.
You can see really clearly here how the veins of the leaf begin at the stalk and radiate out from there in straight lines, not dividing like other leaves from a central  rib. The Ginkgo is the only tree that grows in this way.

I soak half the pulp in bleach, which turns it a beautiful golden yellow. Unfortunately, as it dries, it looses this lovely hue.
The vat of bleached pulp and a jug of unbleached leaves that I choose from to decorate the sheet of paper as I make it.
A freshly pulled sheet of paper waiting to be pressed and dried.


  1. Hi! Your Ginkgo tree is beautiful. What a good idea to turn the leaves into paper. Thanks for visiting my blog, I'm glad to have found yours and your etsy shop :-)

  2. Can you show a picture of the final pressed/dried paper? I'd be interested in trying it as I have Ginkgo trees around, it might make lovely cards to add a little bead embellishment too :-)

    1. I have some photos of the paper some place. I will look them out for you, or take some more. You would need to make each piece of paper in the size you wanted to use. I have found that its not easy to tear and cutting it with scissors seems criminal.