Re: Handmade paper

From: Tom Ferguson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 10/27/04-01:23:54 AM Z
Message-id: <>

I worked with hand made paper for a while. I think I enjoyed the
"craft" of it more than the final images. Papermaking is great fun.

For alt work you need a hard paper, which means you really want beater
pulp, not blender pulp. While it does take some of the "hand" out of
handmade, if you don't have a real beater try buying some pulp from
McDonald or Twinrocker. You will (I did) have much better results for
photo work. A good (heavy) press for forming and drying is also a big
help. My best alt paper was roughly 3/4 cotton and 1/4 abbaca
(spelling??, banana lead fiber) with dimmer and NO NO NO Calcium
Carbonate (filler/buffer).

Sizing is very important. I had best luck with internal dimmer type
sizes. Without sizing the paper (waterleaf) will absorb an amazing
quantity of emulsion. It isn't just the quantity (cost) either, it will
absorb so fast that spreading it out for an even coating is near

It can be done, the real trick is finding images that fit a surface as
rough as handmade paper gives (well, as rough as my handmade paper).

On Tuesday, October 26, 2004, at 07:16 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:

> On Wed, 27 Oct 2004, Loris Medici wrote:
>> .... also see Post Factory Photography #9 p. 47 for an interesting
>> way that can be used to support fragile sheets - although I'm not
>> sure if this applies to handmade paper).
> Thanks for the plug Loris -- I actually hadn't thought of that (I
> suppose you mean the "Gum Buckramate"?) for handmade paper, tho it
> might well work, depending on the nature of the paper. The system was
> devised as a way to hold paper rigid for re-register and then free it
> when finished without leaving it clad in drymount tissue or ripping it
> to shreds trying to release it from some other bonding. And it does
> work..
> But for handmade -- or other fragile paper -- first I'd try the cradle
> (as mentioned in an earlier issue of P-F). Get a piece of aluminum
> mesh window screening about an inch narrower than your tray and enough
> longer to hang over the edges to grasp it. When you put the wet sheet
> of paper on this "sling," it clings, and you can lift it and hold by
> one end to drain, also move it from tray to tray without risk of
> tearing the corner off or otherwise mutilating the print by tongs. The
> screen lasts indefinitely and washes easily.
> This system by the way was what I used for plating-out toner when the
> tray ribs made a mark on the *front* of the print (my hunch is
> something about electric current from the copper toner redeposited, or
> plated the silver in the solution back onto the print image-wise).
> But aside from that, my advice to Alistair would be DON'T START with
> your precious handmade paper -- for two reasons; first, you say you
> haven't done the processes. Not only may you waste paper at the
> outset, until you know how the processes work and what they look like
> on regular printmakers or watercolor paper, you might well be at a
> loss printing, not knowing what's the process, what's you, and what's
> your paper.
> There's also the possibility that the handmade paper isn't going to
> add that much if anything to the process, which usually does use an
> attractive good quality paper. I guess it depends on how precious each
> sheet is to you... but the handmade paper I've seen was so beautiful
> my thougt is, do you really want to cover it up with a photograph ? I
> suspect also, unless you're doing a REALLY tight paper, or a REALLY
> freeform kind of photography, the print might actually look better on
> boring old factory paper.
> sorry to be a spoilsport, and you are encouraged to declare me wrong !
> good luck whichever,
> Judy
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Alistair Calder"
>> <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 9:29 PM
>> Subject: Handmade paper
>>> Hello all,
>>> I have been lurking around this list for over a year now, gathering
>>> knowledge and inspiration.
>>> I am interested in a few processes (pt/pd, gum and bromoil), but I
>>> was
>>> wondering if anyone had managed to use homemade paper of some sort
>>> as a
>>> receptor?
>>> I make my own paper (of varying quality) and would like to know if
>>> anyone
>>> has managed to produce any reasonable prints on their own (or someone
>>> else's) handmade paper.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Alistair
Tom Ferguson
Received on Wed Oct 27 01:24:14 2004

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