I’ve had a love affair with paper ever since I was a kid. Something about the heft of a real book just can’t be replaced by an electronic imitation. I love the way a new cover crinkles and the pages have that fresh ink smell. Not surprisingly, I’ve been an avid reader ever since I was a little kid.
It’s not just books – although I experimented in college with photography on everything from fabric to metal, I still love the way a print looks and feels on good paper. That’s a huge part of the allure of cyanotypes – I get to use a nice, heavy, fine watercolor paper that’s a joy to work with. If I can handcraft my work into a book form or something artsy it’s even more fun.
One of the artist that Sow’s Ear Studio features (hi Nannette!) makes her own paper. If she ever gives a workshop at Sow’s Ear while she’s in town, I plan to take it so I can learn how to take my cyanotype rejects and make them useful. I have a lot of rejects. I have to figure out a way to bleach the toned prints or they would be useless.
The only paper product that I’m not really in love with is newsprint. It’s cheap, the ink comes off on your fingertips, and it disintegrates faster than cardboard in water. It’s truly annoying. I know that newspapers have to print on something that doesn’t cost them a huge amount of money, but it’s nasty stuff.