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Artist Review

Thai Mulberry Paper

Artist Review: Thai Mulberry Paper

 

As a relief printmaker, my choice of paper to make my prints on is paramount to the success of the prints I create. The method of printmaking I use most is linocutting, where the image is hand carved into a block of lino, using specialised carving tools. To a much lesser extent, I also make monoprints, where the paper is placed face-down onto a lightly- inked plate and the image is “drawn” onto the back of the paper - thus producing a one-off print (hence the name “monotype”) on the front of the paper.

It was at the start of last year that I first discovered handmade Thai Mulberry paper from Perfect Paper Company. I had created a series of lino blocks on the theme of birds’ nests/baby birds and was looking for a naturally textured paper that could become an extension of the image itself. I tried printing onto the natural coloured mulberry paper (just 40gsm weight, but surprisingly strong) and the effect was stunning - perfectly suited to the subject matter. I had previously printed mainly onto Zerkall smooth 145gsm paper, which is a great “go-to” paper for general relief printing, but the difference the Mulberry paper made to these prints was quite startling.

 

 

Sometimes I like to hand-paint onto my linocut prints with gold inks, or hand-colour with art pens - and I find the Mulberry paper is perfectly suited to this kind of multi-media approach too, provided the delicacy of the paper is treated with respect and the medium is applied gently.

The handmade quality of the paper really adds to the whole impact of a handmade print - each sheet is uniquely different from the last, which reflects the fact that each linocut print is also unique; the appearance of the prints vary according to the amount of ink on the block and the pressure applied on the press. This paper is easy to tear by hand, creating the beautiful torn edges around the prints, which are a feature in themselves when it comes to displaying the print in a floating mount.

 

 

Handmade Thai Mulberry paper from Perfect Paper comes in an extensive range of colours - you’ll find there’s one suitable for any project you have in mind. When I was looking for a paper for one of my best-selling mini prints, “Milk Thief” (image above), I found the subtly-flecked “Ivory” colour perfectly complimented the Prussian Blue oil-based ink the image is printed in - and the creamy-milk colour of the paper is spot-on for the milk bottle!

If you are looking for darker or brighter colours of paper, there are plenty to choose from. Because my subject-matter tends to be inspired by natural elements and living creatures, I normally look for neutral shades with flecking/textures to compliment the printed images. However, when I was searching for a dark-coloured paper on which to print a series of animals in metallic gold relief ink, the beautiful Prussian Blue Mulberry paper stood out for me - the gold ink just “pops” and compliments the deep blue of the paper perfectly.

 

Moth Mini PrintOwl Mini Print

 

I also love the Ebony Mulberry paper, which features a stunning flecked texture and perfectly compliments my “Golden Emperor” moth mini prints.

I have spoken at length about printing linocuts onto Thai Mulberry paper, which I am now completely sold on - but I’d just like to finish off with a slightly different method of working. Pictured below is a monoprint I made recently (mentioned at the start of this blog) which as been worked on top of with a mixture of fine line and fibre-tipped art pens. The work was created on natural coloured Thai Mulberry and the close-up shot shows clearly the beautiful textures and embedded grasses in this paper. The vibrancy of colour I was able to achieve on this piece, demonstrates how well the paper takes different types of media, apart from the oil-based relief inks I use to make my linocut prints.

 

 

In conclusion - if you are looking for a really special paper that will add a new dimension to your art work, where each sheet is completely unique, and is also pretty competitively priced - you need to check out Perfect Paper Company's range of handmade Thai Mulberry papers. You may find you’ll never look back....

 

If you would like more information on our wide selection of Thai Mulberry Paper or wish to purchase this product, Click Here

Thai Mulberry PaperThai Mulberry Paper

 

Image Credit;

Jane Constable

Sandra Manchester (Product Shot)