Monday, April 11, 2011

Best (or rather favorite) papers for printmaking and collage

I have some experience with this, of course. But I'm also a creature of habit. I run the same route, follow a daily schedule, and buy gifts in bulk. In other words, I'm predictable. I have found some papers that I like and I've stuck with them. If you have anything to add about papers, please post a comment. (This is my paper drawer. It fits a full 22 x 30" sheet and it's under our mattress in our IKEA bed frame with 4 drawers! I did have to reinforce the bottom of the drawer since Rives BFK and Arches 88 is incredibly heavy.)

  • Printing dry with Akua, on a press or with a pinpress--Arches 88
  • Printing damp with drypoint on Sintra plates using Akua--Rives Lightweight, Sommerset
  • Printing damp with collagraphs, etchings, and drypoint on copper using oil based ink--Rives BFK or Rives Lightweight
  • Hand printing relief--lightweight papers such as rice paper, but have had success with thicker papers. Thicker papers need more work transferring images, but there is less chance of tearing. (You can put a piece of tissue paper between your spoon and your lightweight paper, such as rice paper, to help prevent tearing.)
  • Press printing relief (dry)--I've used heavier paper with success, such as dry Rives BFK. I've also used Strathmore, which makes some folks recoil. I think the hot press works very well but the edges of the paper are cut and not torn, which is weird.
  • Chine colle--thin papers work the best and look the best (think tissue vs. cardstock). Rives Lightweight is a great paper for this.
  • Collage--I've had success with thick and thin papers. I glue using Golden Soft Gel and it seems to work well with both types of papers. You'll need heavy books to keep your base paper from curling or drying warped. Here's a list of my top 20 favorite collage supplies.

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