Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mulberry Paper Love

Step right up ladies and gentlemen!  I have no connection to the Legion Paper Company, but I am here to proclaim my adoration of their traditional washi paper for inkjet printers.  Specifically their Moab Moenkopi Unryu 55 gsm paper.  Before I extol the amazing wonders of said paper, I'll give you the downside.  The cost is not for the faint of heart.  10 sheets of 13x19 ran me $45 dollars on Amazon or you can go big and get the 49 foot by 44 inch wide roll for $255 at B&H.  (If next week's encaustic experiments go well, I might be considering this option.)  I may be telling you all something you already know about this paper but I have been slow to play with different fine art inkjet papers on the market.  So be patient with me.  Up until now, the three Epson papers I usually use have worked fine so why fiddle?  Yeah, I know - duh!  Bad photographer!  Bad!

Okay seriously, I first heard of this paper at a Leah MacDonald workshop.  Thanks Leah!  It's an extremely thin, but surprisingly strong white paper with little white fibers running through it.  I bought it for experimenting with some of my prints and encaustics since it should be a very transparent paper once coated in wax.  (More of that next week.)  It fed into my Epson 2200 just fine but it needed approximately 20% more saturation than a regular print on Epson's premiun matte paper.  Boy howdy was I impressed once this came out of my printer!  It's almost like holding fabric instead of paper and those tiny little fibers show up slightly in the print.  Yum!  It also comes in 110 and 300gsm weights so I may need to take out a small loan and play with Unyru's big brothers Kozo and Bizan.  Please don't ask me how to pronounce a bit of this!

See the white fibers in the photo below?  Don't worry about the banding in the dark areas.  It's not in the ink.  My printer's pizza wheels dented the paper a little bit on the way out. 
Next week I will be in Tennessee at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts taking a week-long workshop entitled Exploring Encaustic: Painting, Collage, and Sculpture.  It's a good thing I'm driving because if I can see out of the back window of my Jeep once I've packed everything I'm taking, it will be a major miracle. 
This is a texture I will be trying out with the black and white image above.
 Back to the amazing paper.  One of the experiments I have devised is to see if I can do some photo sandwiching using a glued-down regular paper photo on a wood surface then brushing on some encaustic medium and attaching the next image printed on the ultra-translucent mulberry paper.  I did a little combining of photos in Photoshop to try and get a combination that has some possiblity of being interesting together.  One way or the other, next week I should have pictures to show of my epic failure on pricey paper or a new & interesting procedure to perfect.

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