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The Paper Project


Found In: arts, science, social studies, 3-5, 6-8

Microscopic images of 100% cotton rag paper at 100x, 1,000x and 2,500x magnification.

The Paper Project explores papermaking, one of the earliest technologies and art forms, and features educational materials as well as images of handmade and mould made paper taken with a scanning-laser confocal microscope. Images are collected in two galleries, a confocal gallery in 2-D and 3-D and a S.E.M. gallery. The 3-D images require red/blue 3-D glasses, for which the website provides instructions.

Technology includes a timeline of papermaking and illustrations of the process of traditional papermaking. Also included are sections on the history of the microscope, scanning laser confocal microscope, and 3-D anaglyph images.

A hands-on section is suitable for art students in grades 4-8, though with greater or lesser supervision these activities could be modified for lower and higher grades. A section of teaching standards is provided.

The Cookbook for Papermaking at Home and in the Classroom is available in web and PDF (15 pages, 970 KB) versions. The cookbook gives step-by-step instructions for making paper and constructing a mold and deckle. It lists supplies and equipment and other books on papermaking.

Make Your Own 3-D Glasses lists materials and provides a PDF template (1 page, 80 KB) for frames. A web link from this page leads to free software (Z-Anaglyph) for making 3-D images from stereo pair images.

A Guide to Confocal Imaging at Home and in the Classroom provides data sets and imaging software (PC and Mac) for making confocal projections and movies. The guide can be downloaded as a PDF (PDF icon PDF, 700 KB, 9 pgs.).

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