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Re: [Marbling] Paper problems

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  • irisnevins
    The Talas paper is good. It is considerably more expensive than Blick or even the old commercial papers ( which were very near neutral). Many old manuals never
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 19, 2011
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      The Talas paper is good. It is considerably more expensive than Blick or even the old commercial papers ( which were very near neutral). Many old manuals never mention alum, and for one the really old papers were more porous and didn't have additives or heavy sizings as rule. When one is doing production marbling and trying to keep costs down in this economy it is difficult. I will have to raise prices after years of holding out. Not a lot, but some, to cover paper. Either that or make it myself, LOL! I just haven't got the time though! I would love to learn papermaking however, but all the info I find is on a hobby scale, and the papers are rough textured as a rule and marble horribly. But they marble...and often sans alum! At least in the past on handmade paper I have tried.
      It makes one feel so helpless in a way! I have even looked inot getting a huge run of the old Natur Text I liked, but the price was staggering for 44,000 sheets, never mind the storage issues. Plus they wouldn't even guarantee it would marble! Samples would come first, but too often I have had samples that marbled and paper runs that didn't.

      I have tried the egg white/alum solution, it's a lovely sheen, though lots of work. I prefer, IF I burnish, to run a light coat of paraffin on the paper, not to coat but to let the agate stone glide easily. It distributes the light wax coat and shines it to the lovely pre 1860s type look. I leave that up to my customers though if they want it...it's too much darned work!

      Iris Nevins
      www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: jemiljan<mailto:jemiljan@...>
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2011 1:13 PM
      Subject: [Marbling] Paper problems


      Hi All,

      Iris, a few months ago, you mentioned investigating the unbuffered bond
      paper from Talas. How did that turn out? From what James Tapley wrote,
      it sounded promising. Do you have any comments?

      Also, I would like to clarify something that Momora wrote. Yes, in
      Turkey, contemporary marblers do not use alum, but the paper that they
      use is not like ours either. I rather doubt that the tragacanth process
      would take to papers loaded with PCCs for the same reasons that they
      don't work with carageenan: the calcium interferes with the bonding.
      The tragacanth process relies upon the polysaccharides provided by the
      gum. The gall, which is gently brought to a boil in a manner
      reminiscent of making Turkish coffee, which thickens the gall and it,
      not diluted with alcohol.

      Even with these elements on the paper they use, the colors are not fully
      fixed to the paper, and traditionally, ahar- a solution made of starch,
      gum, or egg whites- was used to coat the papers afterwards, after which
      they would be hand polished before they were used for bookbinding and
      calligraphy. As the trend in Turkey today is to produce marbling as
      artwork to be framed and hung on the wall, many marblers now skip this
      step. One common ahar solution was egg white beaten with a lump of
      alum, so here alum does eneter as a fixative, but only after the
      marbling process. While the Turkish text Tertib-i Risale-i Ebri (An
      Organization of a Treatise on Marbling which dates to after 1615, not
      1608, as is often reported) does not mention using alum as a mordant,
      the text is filled with solutions containing alum applied afterward. So
      it think it is misleading to portray the Turkish method as somehow
      absent of alum, because it was very often used, only it was applied
      afterwards, just not beforehand as a mordant.

      At the same time, other historical texts written in Persian from Iran
      and India do mention the use of alum as a mordant. These texts mention
      the use of fenugreek, known as shanbalîlah in Persian, and mithi in
      Urdu and Hindi, for the size instead of tragacanth, and many surfactant
      additives for dispersing the color, including soapberry, or "soapnuts"
      as some call them today, and various extractions of lac. Finally, the
      powdered tragacanth available in the US leaves a lot to be desired, and
      is not as pleasurable to work with as freshly-harvested Turkish "yaprak
      kitre" or "leaf tragacanth".

      Jake Benson



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    • hamburgerbuntpapier_de
      Two years ago, Hikmet Barutcugil was invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair to demonstrate ebru. I sent him several papers from my stock to test, and he opted for
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 20, 2011
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        Two years ago, Hikmet Barutcugil was invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair to demonstrate ebru. I sent him several papers from my stock to test, and he opted for a European paper that answers to German archival standards, meaning amongst others that it is buffered. He worked with it without alum and everything was perfect. Several of the sheets he made during the fair, basics as well as flowers, are still in my hands and have been used ever since for lectures and courses, they behave perfectly well although they are handled all the time.

        My non-marblers rationality says that it cannot be the paper alone evoking problems, there must be something in the other materials, too; namely in the way the paints are prepared. Hikmet makes all his own paints, and in the traditional Turkish way. He brought his tools, paints and powdered size (not the usual tragacantha, though) along, the water was ordinary Frankfurt tap water, the paper made in Germany and bought in Hamburg from my main supplier.

        Susanne Krause

        P.S. I don't read Turkish, but from all I know Ebru Sanati means The Art of Ebru.
      • irisnevins
        Susanne....just so you know, two years ago and maybe up to 1 1/2 years ago, the German paper I was using, particularly Hahnemuelle Natur Text, yes, it was
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 20, 2011
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          Susanne....just so you know, two years ago and maybe up to 1 1/2 years ago, the German paper I was using, particularly Hahnemuelle Natur Text, yes, it was buffered, and it did work just fine. It was buffered. The problem is TOO MUCH buffering agent. Via my distributor, we had a three way dialog going on for a good while, and it was determined that at that point they started using MORE buffering agent, calcium carbonate. The PH had gong up to 8+ too. I wouldn't exactly say a paper cannot be buffered at all, but it can reach archival standards by being buffered just enough to make it archival, not further. Why they went further, who knows. They said it is what it is now, in effect. I could have a whole run made or the old formula, which would amount to 44,000 sheets. I would get a test sheet, or a few sheets of varying amounts. They will not make an unbuffered paper. The issues with that, is as I mentioned....how do I know I am going to get exactly what the test sheets were. What if someone was tired that day and threw in too much CC. This isn't something you can see. The costs for that much paper plus the shipping was prohibitive. Plus I'd worry about storage. Or damage. I really can't risk it.

          We will figure it out I am certain, and marbling will continue, it's just very frustrating. I make my own paints too, and have tweaked the formulas, which are different for each pigment, in hopes it may alter the adhesion, which it didn't. The natural earth colors adhere better than others to any paper, and sometimes if I were to use just some ochres and a lamp black I can use overbuffered paper and it stays on. The other issue, with the thousands of sheets of Classic Linen I still have from the batch after they started to over CC it, is that using so much of the CC, in place of wood pulp or other ingredients, is that it shortens the fibers of the papers and they tear easily on the line when wet or with handling.

          French Paper Company http://www.frenchpaper.com/Index.asp<http://www.frenchpaper.com/Index.asp> makes buffered papers that actually work. their 19 X 25 Durotone works well, sometimes even without Alum, esp. earth colors. Their 70lb text weight however is very thin, more than other 70lb I have ever had. the next step up is too heavy. I have the ivory and it does work, you have to handle it carefully when you alum though, it can crease up if you sponge it. I think it will be less a problem in this weight in a smaller sheet honestly but my customers want a large sheet. Other than that it works well. http://www.frenchpaper.com/results.asp?cat=35<http://www.frenchpaper.com/results.asp?cat=35> is the link to Durotne. They will send a sample book and you can try the swatches. nice colors too. Always, after you find anything works, ask for test sheets, even if you have to pay for them, and insist, in writing, they are from current inventory that will be shipped to you, and also in writing, that if it behaves differently than the test sheets you can return it. Not just for French, but for all paper companies. I don't trust them to understand marbling, they really don't get it, so you have to cover yourself.

          There also seems to be no amount of alum that overtakes the CC either. I have looked into using inkjet coating instead, but it is very pricey!! I found a recipe to make it too at home, and it failed to help and ruined the size.

          Iris Nevins
          www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: hamburgerbuntpapier_de<mailto:studio@...>
          To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 4:13 AM
          Subject: [Marbling] Paper in Turkey


          Two years ago, Hikmet Barutcugil was invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair to demonstrate ebru. I sent him several papers from my stock to test, and he opted for a European paper that answers to German archival standards, meaning amongst others that it is buffered. He worked with it without alum and everything was perfect. Several of the sheets he made during the fair, basics as well as flowers, are still in my hands and have been used ever since for lectures and courses, they behave perfectly well although they are handled all the time.

          My non-marblers rationality says that it cannot be the paper alone evoking problems, there must be something in the other materials, too; namely in the way the paints are prepared. Hikmet makes all his own paints, and in the traditional Turkish way. He brought his tools, paints and powdered size (not the usual tragacantha, though) along, the water was ordinary Frankfurt tap water, the paper made in Germany and bought in Hamburg from my main supplier.

          Susanne Krause

          P.S. I don't read Turkish, but from all I know Ebru Sanati means The Art of Ebru.





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        • jemiljan
          A reply to Susanne... ... Two years ago, Hikmet Barutcugil was invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair to demonstrate ebru. I sent him several papers from my stock
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 20, 2011
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            A reply to Susanne...

            --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "hamburgerbuntpapier_de" <studio@...> wrote:

            "Two years ago, Hikmet Barutcugil was invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair to demonstrate ebru. I sent him several papers from my stock to test, and he opted for a European paper that answers to German archival standards, meaning amongst others that it is buffered."

            Buffered, yes, but was that paper merely buffered with a small percentage of calcium carbonate? Or was it loaded with PCC fillers as so many papers here in the US? I referring to papers loaded with PCC fillers, which is what Iris has been describing, which contain more calcium than actual pulp!

            "He worked with it without alum and everything was perfect. Several of the sheets he made during the fair, basics as well as flowers, are still in my hands and have been used ever since for lectures and courses, they behave perfectly well although they are handled all the time."

            Yet if you were to rub the colors directly, are they truly fixed? I rather doubt this, as I have many papers in my own collections, including those made by Hikmet, and they are not so durable. Gentle handling is one thing, abrasion resistance- a real durability test-is another. While they are not immediately friable and "falling off" the sheet, they are also not totally fixed the way a mordanted paper is.

            "My non-marblers rationality says that it cannot be the paper alone evoking problems, there must be something in the other materials, too; namely in the way the paints are prepared. Hikmet makes all his own paints, and in the traditional Turkish way. He brought his tools, paints and powdered size (not the usual tragacantha, though) along, the water was ordinary Frankfurt tap water, the paper made in Germany and bought in Hamburg from my main supplier."

            Yes, these are factor. As I mentioned, the tragacanth contains polysaccharides that form a more complex network adhering the pigment particles, in conjunction with the thickened form of gall. Iron oxides adhere very well in the process. The "lahuri çivit", which is really a synthetic indigo dye, also bonds well... to a point. They do not have the durability of papers that are mordanted. Again, historically speaking in Turkey (and Iran India, and elsewhere) if the papers were to be used for bookbinding and calligraphy, they were routinely coated with ahar solution and then burnished.

            Jake
          • hamburgerbuntpapier_de
            Jake- got out the papers, licked my finger, wiped: everything okay. No time now to call the firm and find out which additive they use. Susanne
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 20, 2011
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              Jake-

              got out the papers, licked my finger, wiped: everything okay.

              No time now to call the firm and find out which additive they use.

              Susanne
            • irisnevins
              what paper is it. Why lick and wipe...is that something for paste paper? If it is older stock of Hahnemuelle for example, the newer paper may be different. I
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 21, 2011
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                what paper is it. Why lick and wipe...is that something for paste paper?

                If it is older stock of Hahnemuelle for example, the newer paper may be different. I suspect paste paper will work where marbling won't. At least Hahnemuelle will speak to you and give you information! Others in my experience will not. My finding is that when it was about PH7.5 it worked, when it went closer to PH8 it didn't.

                Iris Nevins
                www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: hamburgerbuntpapier_de<mailto:studio@...>
                To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 2:51 AM
                Subject: [Marbling] Re: Paper in Turkey


                Jake-

                got out the papers, licked my finger, wiped: everything okay.

                No time now to call the firm and find out which additive they use.

                Susanne




                ------------------------------------

                Yahoo! Groups Links





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • hamburgerbuntpapier_de
                Lick and wipe is the hard test for any colour that s meant to stay on the paper when required to, nothing special for paste paper, and anyway I did it with one
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 21, 2011
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                  Lick and wipe is the hard test for any colour that's meant to stay on the paper when required to, nothing special for paste paper, and anyway I did it with one of Hikmet's (to prove that the colours stay on the paper indeed, no matter what Jake says).

                  And no, it's not Hahnemühle. I've stopped using Hahnemühle years ago, too heavy, too voluminous, too stiff, doesn't agree with sprinkled papers.

                  If you're interested I can ask my supplier about a dealer in USA.

                  Susanne Krause
                • irisnevins
                  Hi Susanne... we all used to do the tongue test, which in my first book I believe I recommended, if it stuck a bit, the paper nearly always worked. Things in
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 21, 2011
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                    Hi Susanne... we all used to do the tongue test, which in my first book I believe I recommended, if it stuck a bit, the paper nearly always worked. Things in marbling are not so simple anymore. the only test like that I can use now, is after aluming, does the paper taste sweet. If not, it has been neutralized and the color will nearly always run. I'd try any paper anywhere at this point! I would need a 19 X 25 preferably long grain sheet about 70-80lb text weight. Would appreciate it...you can email me privately if you like...though others may like to know!

                    I still am confused on lick and wipe. Do you paint the paper first, then lick and wipe, or is it just the plain paper before any paint on it? If no paint is one, what do we look for the lick and wipe to do?

                    thanks,

                    Iris Nevins
                    www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: hamburgerbuntpapier_de<mailto:studio@...>
                    To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 11:11 AM
                    Subject: [Marbling] Re: Paper in Turkey/for Iris


                    Lick and wipe is the hard test for any colour that's meant to stay on the paper when required to, nothing special for paste paper, and anyway I did it with one of Hikmet's (to prove that the colours stay on the paper indeed, no matter what Jake says).

                    And no, it's not Hahnemühle. I've stopped using Hahnemühle years ago, too heavy, too voluminous, too stiff, doesn't agree with sprinkled papers.

                    If you're interested I can ask my supplier about a dealer in USA.

                    Susanne Krause




                    ------------------------------------

                    Yahoo! Groups Links





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • jemiljan
                    Susanne... It seems you are fortunate to possess what is my experience, exceptional examples. Should you ever visit me, I would be happy to show you the many
                    Message 9 of 13 , Feb 21, 2011
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                      Susanne... It seems you are fortunate to possess what is my experience, exceptional examples. Should you ever visit me, I would be happy to show you the many papers I've collected from Turkey over the years, and why I must keep them in archival sleeves, in order to prevent their smudging. It seems to me that whatever paper you gave to Hikmet is likely a better quality one, and so the marbling adhered better to those sheets than the examples of his work that I obtained in Turkey. Maybe you could share with us just what that paper is? It may be a useful tip for all of us.

                      Yes, the colors can adhere better to an non-mordanted paper if thinly applied (the paler background of a flower, for example); and if the paper is well made, with good fiber, and little (if any) buffer, as Iris mentioned). Incidentally, Halfer describes why pigments adhere without alum in his chapter on Tragacanth in "Die Fortschritte...", and much as Iris noted, he specifically mentions that earth colors are especially conducive. That said, most all of the densely saturated patterned papers (standard battals, gelgits, and so on) that I obtained in Turkey from many different marblers do have a certain tendency to smear, including earth colors, and it seems to me that the quality of the paper is a major factor. Older papers executed on handmade or mould-made sheets - even those which are not coated with the traditional Ahar- do not seem to exhibit this problem. Then again, even when using a mordanted paper, indigo has a tendency to smudge, a problem that I believe Iris can describe in detail.

                      Jake

                      --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "hamburgerbuntpapier_de" <studio@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Jake-
                      >
                      > got out the papers, licked my finger, wiped: everything okay.
                      >
                      > No time now to call the firm and find out which additive they use.
                      >
                      > Susanne
                      >
                    • irisnevins
                      Jake we could go on forever on this. I love traditional styled marbling and much of my life has been devoted to it, but I will not be a slave to tradition when
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 21, 2011
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                        Jake we could go on forever on this. I love traditional styled marbling and much of my life has been devoted to it, but I will not be a slave to tradition when something works better. Indigo is one example. Yes it smears, even when I treat it like other pigments I make paints from. All the chemical "why" about it didn't concern me as much as the "how" to make it work, and I couldn't. I had a few annoyed customers at one point over it and it was terribly embarrassing too. So I make a similar color from black and blue. Close enough, no smear. People think I am a purist, but don't make me give up my plastic squeeze bottles!!

                        As for paper I learned something very distressing today in a long ongoing email dialog with a papermaker I have been having, who may prefer to not be named. Recycled paper... good, green, cool, wonderful... well....maybe not for us. Did you ever get a batch of paper that was recycled, and it worked. You order again, the color comes off. You order yet another time, it works again. Why... the papers they recycle FROM, there is no telling how much calcium carbonate is in them. They come from many different makers. Thus, there is NO CONTROL over the amount of the dreadful stuff is in each particular batch of recyclable material they get in. Pretty scary.... I said "now I've heard everything". What next. So I was advised to never recommend a recycled paper for marbling at all, because of this inconsistency. It makes me think way back to Ink & Gall days, Jake, if you recall...I did an article on recyled paper....and this was over 20 years ago. My feeling was that all the papers I tested were sub-par and basically said I didn't care how cool it was to recycle, I wouldn't use them. Well.... some of us know what happened next but I was not writing for the magazine anymore after that. We'll leave that one go!

                        I have learned to allow myself a backlog of 800-1000 sheets of paper that work, so I can function while looking for yet another paper. I am very intrigued by the inkjet coatings, and that you can skip the alum. Has to be the best quality. I have not bothered to try the larger sizes than 11 X 14 I think... I suspect the light weight at 18 X 24 with make it rip when wet. It's not cheap. Talas paper is good, but I still want to find a solution of some sort in general if there is one. I have thousands of sheets of paper that used to work, and then I received buffered cartons. No notice, not that they should care so much about marblers.

                        What I need to do when there is time (laugh track inserted) is buy a bottle of the coating and see if it can be diluted down to watery, and used like alum, and see if I can use up the darned 2000+ buffered papers I was not allowed to return over the past five years! Maybe someday!

                        Well.... tired of thinking about this today.
                        Iris Nevins
                        www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: jemiljan<mailto:jemiljan@...>
                        To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 10:57 PM
                        Subject: [Marbling] Re: Paper in Turkey


                        Susanne... It seems you are fortunate to possess what is my experience, exceptional examples. Should you ever visit me, I would be happy to show you the many papers I've collected from Turkey over the years, and why I must keep them in archival sleeves, in order to prevent their smudging. It seems to me that whatever paper you gave to Hikmet is likely a better quality one, and so the marbling adhered better to those sheets than the examples of his work that I obtained in Turkey. Maybe you could share with us just what that paper is? It may be a useful tip for all of us.

                        Yes, the colors can adhere better to an non-mordanted paper if thinly applied (the paler background of a flower, for example); and if the paper is well made, with good fiber, and little (if any) buffer, as Iris mentioned). Incidentally, Halfer describes why pigments adhere without alum in his chapter on Tragacanth in "Die Fortschritte...", and much as Iris noted, he specifically mentions that earth colors are especially conducive. That said, most all of the densely saturated patterned papers (standard battals, gelgits, and so on) that I obtained in Turkey from many different marblers do have a certain tendency to smear, including earth colors, and it seems to me that the quality of the paper is a major factor. Older papers executed on handmade or mould-made sheets - even those which are not coated with the traditional Ahar- do not seem to exhibit this problem. Then again, even when using a mordanted paper, indigo has a tendency to smudge, a problem that I believe Iris can describe
                        in detail.

                        Jake

                        --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>, "hamburgerbuntpapier_de" <studio@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Jake-
                        >
                        > got out the papers, licked my finger, wiped: everything okay.
                        >
                        > No time now to call the firm and find out which additive they use.
                        >
                        > Susanne
                        >




                        ------------------------------------

                        Yahoo! Groups Links





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • hamburgerbuntpapier_de
                        Sorry for this, I hit the send key by accident. I can only second this: never use recycled paper for quality work. Recycling is an honourable and most
                        Message 11 of 13 , Feb 22, 2011
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                          Sorry for this, I hit the send key by accident.


                          I can only second this: never use recycled paper for quality work. Recycling is an honourable and most necessary task but it has its limits. Professional paper decorating beyond short living items such as gift wrappers is one of them.

                          And I'm also seconding this: For reconstruction work, we need to reconstruct an impression, and we need to do this with materials answering to state-of-the-art archival and restoration requirements. It is most interesting to know what was used for the
                          original and definitely very important for restoration/conservation and research. However, it is not what counts in reconstruction. Everything we can use today is 200 or 300 years younger than the original. Even if we go and dig coloured earth in the same place, the earth cannot be the same. I'm afraid it's wishful thinking that by the simple method of using some material with the original name we can get closer to the original product.

                          As to paper: all my papers are made in Europe. I phoned around but none of my suppliers has a branch in the Americas. Sending paper overseas is always possible (and they're ready to do it if required) but costs a small fortune.

                          Susanne Krause
                        • irisnevins
                          Thanks for checking Susanne! Iris Nevins www.marblingpaper.com ... From:
                          Message 12 of 13 , Feb 22, 2011
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                            Thanks for checking Susanne!
                            Iris Nevins
                            www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: hamburgerbuntpapier_de<mailto:studio@...>
                            To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 4:33 AM
                            Subject: [Marbling] Re: Paper in Turkey, last input from Hamburg



                            I can only second this: never use recycled paper for quality work.

                            And also this: For reconstruction work, we need to reconstruct an impression, and we need to do this with materials answering to state-of-the-art archival and restoration requirements. It is most interesting to know what was used for the original and definitely very important for restoration/conservation and research. However, it is not what counts in reconstruction. Everything we can use today is 200 or 300 years older than the original. Even if we go and dig coloured earth in the same place, the earth cannot be the same. I'm afraid it's wishful thinking that by the simple method of using something with the same label we can get closer to the original.

                            As to paper: all my papers are made in Europe. I phoned around but none of my suppliers has a branch in the Americas. Sending paper overseas is always possible (and they're ready to do it if required) but costs a small fortune.

                            Susanne Krause




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