making pastepapers: three lectures

For the most recent Boss Dog Press imprint, Three Lectures, I wanted to do paper over board bindings as an homage to the small paper covered Insel Verlag titles in Trudi and Fritz Eberhardt’s personal library.  A number of pastepaper trials were unsatisfactory until a small brain-squall prompted a change in the process which provided the solution. Here’s how it was done:

The tweak here was, instead of pasting the paper and then manipulating the pattern, to produce the pattern on the table and then press dampened paper onto the layer of paste and pigment; essentially a primitive offset procedure. Above you can see the workspace consisting of a taped off area on the bench along with acrylics, paste and a pellon-covered mailing tube.

Here, intern Ester Lopez is applying paste to the image area.

Next she adds dots of burnt sienna, burnt umber and black,

and begins by brushing the colors first vertically,

then horizontally.

The final pattern is made with semi-circular strokes of a flat bristle brush. Note the three sheets of paper on the left, which are relaxing after being dampened.

The damp paper is laid onto the pattern,

and then ‘printed’ by rolling the tube over it.

And the finished papers are air dried.

Usually there was enough paste and pigment left on the work surface so that a second set of sheets could be pulled. The second sets differ considerably in character, but that’s the fun of it…

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