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5048Making our own base papers

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  • Susanne Krause
    Mar 2, 2009
      Hi Iris,
      and hi to all the others wondering about paper making,

      for making decorated papers professionally, meaning to earn your
      livelyhood by it, forget about making your own base papers unless you
      are about twenty years of age, have the time and the money to invest
      in 10 years of full time learning, plus 10 more years of learning the
      techniques of paper decoration you wish to learn, plus more years in
      which to learn combining both.

      It may sound harsh but that's exactly how it is. We're all repeating
      all the time that you cannot learn marbling (or any of the other
      tchniques) quickly and easily. An enormous percentage of all the
      postings in this group is about technical problems and the tricks our
      materials play on us. Paper making is just the same; and on top of it
      all a professional set up needs even more space and money than the
      professional set up for paper decoration.

      A person can have enormous fun making paper, just as they can have
      enormous fun making marbled papers or whatever. It's very, very
      exciting work and just as addictive as making decorated papers. It's a
      sensational experience to be responsible for the whole thing.
      Nevertheless it is idiotic on the commercial level, and it is
      adventurous on the emotional (to say the least). It is the simple
      truth that there are just so many really good papers makers, just as
      there are just so many really good paper decorators. Once in a while
      there may be an exceptionally gifted and dedicated person who can do
      both in equally good quality, but these persons are just that:
      exceptions. We're not a profession of exceptions (except in the field
      of mild madness).

      I could go on and on about this, but let me finish with a suggestion:
      try printing papers. They are velin, sturdy, comparatively cheap and
      available with or without buffering. I'm using them for dribbled,
      early 20th century and some 19th century pastes. I'm told they marble
      fine.
      Susanne krause
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