Changes in Arches?

From: Katharine Thayer ^lt;>
Date: 11/26/04-11:54:04 AM Z
Message-id: <>

Arches Aquarelle 140# HP was my paper of choice until around the turn of
the century, when it started exhibiting strange flaws and patterns in
the internal sizing that became evident when the coating was applied and
remained to become part of the print. This was paper right from the
factory, not soaked or given extra size by me. Here's an example of the

I had to abandon the paper for that reason, but have mourned it since,
as I've never found another paper that suited me quite so well. The only
two things I didn't like about it were (1) that it raised a significant
surface texture after soaking, almost like a cold-press surface, that I
found more and more objectionable as I went through a period of printing
with ever more subtle tonal gradations and delicate color, and (2) it
stank like a fetid swamp when wet.

Recently, to fill out a paper order, I ordered two sheets of Arches
140#, just to see how it was doing. What I got seems like a different
paper altogether. It feels thinner and crisper than the old paper; it
keeps a nice smooth surface after soaking, and --wonder of wonders--
that familiar oldy- moldy Arches odor is completely absent.

I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about changes in
Arches. Kate, are you still printing with Arches, and have you noticed a
difference? This is without a doubt a different paper than the Arches I
knew up to four or five years ago.

There is another paper, "Arches Bright White" listed by Daniel Smith,
but I don't think they sent me this by accident, because the paper I got
is the same warm tone of the old Arches, not a brighter white as one
would expect from the name of the other paper.

Ryuji Suzuki wrote:
> From: Katharine Thayer <>
> Subject: Re: What/how is Magnani Pescia sized with?
> Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 10:50:34 +0000
> > [...] but I do know that whatever it is, the paper is hardly sized
> > at all. Some sources classify it as a waterleaf (waterleaf being a
> > paper with little or no sizing, making it very absorbent but not
> > always amenable to soaking (think blotters)) and the Daniel Smith
> > catalog says, "Because Pescia is very lightly sized, dampen it with
> > an atomizer rather than soaking."
> When I compared side by side with Rives BFK, Magnani Pescia absorbed
> significantly less sizing solution. The paper also keeps its body when
> it's wet, while Rives becomes soft and harder to handle. Surface
> ablation is not a problem for me because I apply sizing solution which
> is a mixture of gelatin and emulsion of poly(vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl
> acetate) and ethyl methacrylate (it's actually a proprietary product
> Primal AC-33 from Kremer, which I think is a repackaged Rhoplex AC-33
> from Rohm and Haas. I don't know exact content of AC-33 but think this
> is close to what it is.) mixed with glut, antifoaming agent, and
> Triton X-100, coated with a fine grain foam roller. It's pretty tough
> once it's dried. The surface retains the paper's texture (slight, very
> fine cross-hatch-like texture in Pescia), and it's not gritty at all
> like gesso. Also the paper curls less when drying compared to plain
> gelatin size. (I dont know if this works for gum but works great for
> silver gelatin.)
> Rives looks differently when wet. As I apply the sizing solution,
> "pressure mark" appears. Wet paper changes its apparent "opacity" or
> "reflectance" (I use double quotes here because I don't know what's
> the right word) where pressure is applied. Plus the paper soaks so
> much solution and is much slower to dry. The paper loses body and easy
> to get kink marks.
> There are probably many other differences but the way they absorb
> differently made me think Pescia is somewhat sized, though maybe not
> as much as Artistico, and that may be the primary reason for this
> difference.
> I size full 22x30 sheet and dry in a flat file cabinet (the ultimate
> intent is to make prints of this size). While sizing and also while
> processing the exposed prints, I find Pescia and Artistico much easier
> to handle than Rives as well.
> I'm reluctant to comment about the surface of Pescia v. Artistico
> because I only used cold press for Artistico so far (my local store
> doesn't carry Artistico HP). But that would be the next comparison
> before buying either paper in bulk.
> --
> Ryuji Suzuki
> "People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient,
> then repent." (Bob Dylan, Brownsville Girl, 1986)
Received on Fri Nov 26 19:50:13 2004

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