You'll have to excuse the awful pun headline, but I just can't start writing out a post without having one down. I groaned audibly at this one myself; hopefully, now that it's out there, the content it introduces will justify it somewhat.
After the initial demo and exploratory class period, I've spent a number of evenings trying my hand at paste paper production. Wheat paste has strong associations with the street art movement as a means of 'permanently' attaching posters and flyers to walls and street posts. In the 18th and 19th century Europe, however, it maintained a more 'respectable' status as style of paper decoration and book covering — a somewhat 'folkier' alternative to the Turkish and Italian marbled papers popular at the time.
Whereas marbled papers are made in a 'bath', with the colors and designs transferred from the surface of the water to the paper, paste papers are designed right on the sheet. Bowls of wheat paste are strained create a smooth consistency and then toned with acrylics to create the 'paint' used to coat water-soaked sheets. After a base layer is applied, combs, stamps, brushes, and fingers are used to build designs in the paste. The overlapping lines can create a 3D effect and turn a sheet of paper into a hypnotizing work of art.
While I experiment with my favorite designs and most effective techniques, I'm looking forward to using the papers I've made on my binding models and even framing a few of the sheets I find to beautiful to cut up!
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