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Paper issues? 
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:16 am
Posts: 11
Location: Kongsberg - Norway
Post Paper issues?
Hi everyone!
I am trying to learn how to do this one little bit at the time..
First of all, paper issues:
I went to my art materials dealer and got a couple of sample sheets of "japanese" papers (I have no idea whether they are actually made in Japan). The papers I got are called Wenzhou (roll of very thin paper), Shijo, Masa and Hosokawa ivory (very expensive!!). The shoji and masa papers are similar, masa being the slightly thinner one, both have one very smooth side and one textured. First question: How do I determine which side of the paper is the "front"/printing side?
I tried to print my small test block (possibly with an array of other problems - cut too shallow, too wet block, too thin paste.. :) with some rather dismal results.. The Wenzhou paper sucks the paint+paste like a sponge. My conclusion is that it is not sized. Correct me if I'm wrong, please. Is this paper at all suitable for printing?
The other papers print fairly well, but I observe a bit of bleeding of the line here as well, though I'm not sure wether it's because of the paper not being properly prepared or because of other stuff I do wrong. Check pictures.
What do you think? (never mind the design and the chipped lines, I am trying to deal with one thing at the time..)

Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:42 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: Paper issues?
Thanks for posting - and for showing your print!

Aase Maj Haakonsbakken wrote:
Wenzhou (roll of very thin paper)

This sounds very much like a Chinese paper, and would not be suitable at all for the kind of printmaking we are doing here. It is way too thin, is unsized, and simply doesn't have the kind of 'body' we need to 'take up' pigments.

But the others you mention seem suitable.

How do I determine which side of the paper is the "front"/printing side?

When the paper is dried during the manufacturing process, it is brushed onto drying boards (or hot metal plates sometimes), and that gives a smooth(er) finish to that surface. That's the one that we usually call the 'front', and use for printmaking. But there is actually no internal difference in the paper itself, and - if you want a rougher effect in your work - you can use the 'back' side if you wish.

What do you think?

I don't see anything 'wrong' that I would attribute specifically to paper problems. Your pigment is very thin, and doesn't have any kind of 'body'. If you want very delicate colour, adding water will do that, but at some point it just gets too watery, so adding some gum arabic, or glue, or 'watercolor medium' will help tighten up the mix, without spoiling the delicacy of the tint.

Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:54 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:16 am
Posts: 11
Location: Kongsberg - Norway
Post Re: Paper issues?
:D Ok! Paper - check.
Next on my list is paint, then..

Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:44 am
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