Sulfite presence itself doesn't necessarily ensure that the paper will marble. I was using the Blick Sulphite, and they started buffering it to "pH Neutral", using the dreaded calcium carbonate. I had to return 1000 sheets, which they gracefully let me return. Nasco makes a neutral sulfite paper too, that doesn't work either. If this paper is made ONLY from sulfite, and that happens to render it pH neutral, perhaps it will work. It is rather expensive though, the Blick sulfite in 500 sheet reams of 18 X 24 (and the Nasco) is about 10 cents a sheet.
For now I like the unbuffered bond from TALAS, but am also experimenting with ways to make the "buffered" papers work, and have had some success, and will do some further experiments tomorrow. Basically a few days, it has worked brilliantly, others, terribly. The Earth colors take the best, the lamp blacks, ochres etc. I'd advise people who got stuck with over buffered papers to hang on to them, for now. I am working on a system that should at least work for the Earth tones. And requires no alum step either. That's wonderful really!
I want to work more with it, and will of course report on the types of papers, and what to expect. My winter experiments were pretty promising, but last week's efforts were dismal, and it was very hot and humid. I suspect that was a factor. Also, it caused the size to be less viscous, which I also think was part of the trouble, the heat does that. Artificial air conditioning just doesn't quite mimic true cool weather. So tomorrow I plan, since the weather is similar, to make the size a bit thicker.
It would be the best thing possible of course, to learn to adapt somehow to these buffered papers, that include nearly all modern papers. How great it would be to once again just buy a paper stock because we like it. It's been a devastating headache, make that a migraine, for marblers. I even considered starting a paper mill in my barn, but I'd prefer not to!! But a Hollander beater is not ruled out in my future if all else ever fails. Yet, I have faith that there is a way to make the "bad" papers work to a pretty decent degree. I believe Jake Benson may be toying with some alternative mordants too.... if you are reading Jake, please keep us posted! I have tried lots of things, including making bubble jet coating, since those high end inkjet papers marble without alum. the solution can be bought, but is very pricey.
I am having the limited success with "acid Free" and buffered Classic Linen, Classic laid, Nasco Sulfite, French Co. Construction Paper (not the school type, it's smooth), French Durotone, and it all works better without alum than with, oddly. Surprisingly, my former favorite, Natur Text doesn't work even with my tweaked methods. I am not tossing it yet though! Any Alum is immediately neutralized on a buffered paper, so don't bother. there is absolutely no amount that I have used that overtakes it. The key is to drag it out of the tray, over the edge, Turkish style. As long as the paper doesn't drip, and you cannot rinse it either, so don't over use paint, get the knack for it, and the color, even pretty deep color stays on. Then hang or lay flat to dry. I have, in cool weather at least, had papers just as good as alumed papers that work, which are now in my stock awaiting sale. What I am trying to find now is a system that can be relied upon to work consistently. Try it.... with your bad papers.... and please report any results!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:00 AM
Subject: [Marbling] paper source?
Has anyone tried this paper, found at John Neal's website. It mentions sulfite, which helps keep the colors from washing off.
PS84. New Diploma Parchment. Machine made in the US, sulphite pulp, warm off-white (beige), pH neutral. Smooth wove finish. 177gsm. Specify size: 17"x22" or 34"x22".
This bestselling archival sheet is now even better. Easy to write on and a little thicker than most text weight papers, it is great for certificates and one-off pieces. A paper you will use again & again. Give it a try. The New Diploma Parchment is a warm beige (off-white) and recommended by Vivian Mungall. The old Diploma Parchment was a yellowish cream.
17"x22". $1.20 per sheet / 10 sheets $9.95
34"x22". $2.25 per sheet
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