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Re: Paste Paper

Thanks for the information and the recipe.


From:   Virginia B. Sauer[SMTP:vsauer@xxxxxxxx]
Sent:   Monday, September 01, 1997 9:52 AM
To:     BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject:        Re: Paste Paper

Kim Nickens <nickinpa@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>> During a recent book arts class, one person had a book of
   poems that were letterpress on pastepaper.  The paste
   paper had very soft colors and a matte finish and was used
   as background for the text with a very elegant result.
   The paste paper technique was described as one developed
   by Susan Moore using sponges.  Is anyone on the list
   familiar with this technique and/or recipe?

I have no idea what technique or recipe Susan Moore used, but
it sounds as though she just used lacy sponges for texture.

Although more expensive than other recipes, using methyl
cellulose will reportedly make the product suitable for
archival purposes (which I assume is your goal).  It is
available at art supply stores.  Rice starch, et cetera, can
be substituted for less expensive (albeit non-archival)
variations.  (So can flour or wallpaper paste, but the result
is less smooth.)

To make 1 pint (2 cups) of paste:

2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon methyl cellulose

--  Make the paste:
    .  Pour 1 cup of the water into a medium-sized bowl and
       sprinkle methyl cellulose on top.  Stir until well
    .  Set aside until thick (about 1 - 2 hours), stirring
       every 15 minutes or so.  (Some brands may take up to 3
       hours, so don't panic if it seems to take longer than
       the specified amount of time.)
    .  Add 3/4 cup more warm water.  Stir until thoroughly
    .  Mixture should be consistency of unset pudding.  If it
       is too thick, add up to 1/4 cup more.  (Add water
       gradually, since you can always add more as needed.)
    .  Choose pigments to yield desired colors.  (If desired,
       divide mixture between several containers, such as
       Dixie cups.)
       -  Most acrylic paints work well.  The best I've found
          are Grumbacher, Windsor Newton, Liquitex, and
          Golden.  However, other readily available brands,
          such as Delta, Accent, and Palmer, will also work
          very well.
       -  Most tempera paints work very well.
       -  Tube watercolors can also be used.
       -  Gouache, printing inks, colorisers used to color
          wall paint, or dry pigments (including metallics
          and luminescents) may also be used.
    .  Depending upon the desired intensity, add approximately
       1 tablespoon to each 1/4 cup methyl cellulose mixture.
       Stir until thoroughly blended.
    .  Add pigments to yield desired colors.
    .  If not ready to use immediately (or if any is left
       over), store in covered container(s), preferably in
       refrigerator.  Mixture will remain fresh for a few

--  Apply the paste:
    .  Cover your work surface (and the area in which you
       want your sheets to dry) with newspapers -- and keep
       several available.
    .  Choose paper that is relatively smooth, not too
       absorbent, but able to withstand being wet (e. g.,
       Strathmore, Canson, cover stock, recycled, or bond).
    .  Place the paper to be colored on top of the work
    .  Using a wide brush or sponge, apply a little water to
       dampen or relax your paper.  (This will create more
       pale colors than if the paper had not been wet.
       Should you prefer more intense colors, simply omit
       this step -- or, if you work very slowly and have
       problems with it drying too quickly, you can spray
       mist with water after the colors have been applied.)
    .  Begin applying the colored paste (using one or more
       colors, depending upon the desired effect).
       -  Depending upon the desired effect, you can use
          brushes or rollers for this.
       -  Blend to ensure a smooth, even surface.
       -  Do not worry if the color appears too pale ...
          It will usually dry darker.

--  After your colors have been applied, use sponges, combs,
    your fingers, brushes, or whatever you like to
    incorporate patterns in the design.

--  When finished, iron on the _unpainted_ side of each sheet
    (using a dry iron, without steam).

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