Re: fabriano paper

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 05/06/04-04:26:59 AM Z
Message-id: <>

The thing about paper is that if you adjust your practice to the paper,
you can print on about anything. It's like pigment: pigment strengths
vary widely, and if you use the same amount of pigment across the board,
then some pigments will work better than others. But if you adjust the
amount of pigment to reflect the differences in pigment strength, then
most pigments will work very well. By the same token, if you insist in
printing the same no matter what paper you are using, then some papers
will work better than others. But if you adjust your practice to the
paper, then as I say, you can print on about anything.

Once for a workshop I printed a little test print on every sample in my
sample packets of printmaking and watercolor paper, to show the students
how the different textures print. I printed the whole pack using the
pigment concentration and exposure time I ordinarily used for Arches.
But the students looked over the array and drew the wrong conclusion
from the demonstration. While all of the papers printed fine, as far as
clearing and so forth, the print on the Arches paper was perfect in the
way it expressed all the tones in the negative. So they thought that
meant that Arches was the very best paper for gum printing. With great
effort, I convinced them (I hope I did anyway) that the reason the
Arches printed so well was because that was the paper I used every day
and my practice was adjusted perfectly to that paper. But if I had
started with any of the other papers and worked with it til it printed
beautifully, and used those values to print the entire pack, then that
paper would look the best. The point being that... well, I hope you get
the point. It's just a matter of working with the paper.

I'm talking here about unsized paper, not sized paper, because I prefer
printing unsized, and the one exception I would make is Fabriano Uno --
unsized, the paper does not perform well. But by that I don't mean that
it stains, I just mean that it swallows the color and prints a very pale
and flat print. Attenuated DMax is the way I usually describe it.
Katharine Thayer
Received on Thu May 6 11:23:25 2004

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