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Re: wanted: techniques for tearing down large sheets of handmade paper

I have developed a method, which is a combination of others' ideas, that
I find very satisfactory.

I got a paint edging tool at the hardware store.  It is a thin strip of
stainless about 30" long with a plastic handle running the length of one
long edge.  Then I covered the other long edge with linen tape.

I mix up a thick but still slightly runny methyl cellulose mixture in a
bowl with a sponge.  I use the sponge to wet the linen taped edge of the
paint guard.  Then I place the wet straight edge on the paper where I
want the tear to be.  I leave it about 1-2 seconds so that the paper is
wet through.  Since the methyl cellulose is thick it doesn't spread in
the paper very quickly.

I now have a straight wet line across my paper that will easily tear.
Pulling along the tear away from the middle will give a nice feathered
edge that is very deckle like.  Holding the paper with the wet line
along the edge of the table and tearing one side down across the edge
gives a cleaner edge.

Good luck!

Clarke Otten

The Atlanta Vintage Book Doctor / The Long Road Press
at Atlanta Vintage Books
3660 Clairmont Rd.
Atlanta, Ga. 30341

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