05 June 2007

I Love Cheap Paper


I've been using a fairly expensive Japanese paper called Echizen Kozo for the past year and a half or so. A lovely cream-colored paper made of mulberry and sized for moku hanga, Echizen Kozo costs just shy of $20 per 26" x 38" sheet -- not a paper you want to do a lot of experimenting with.

But I want to experiment. I want to feel free to mess up some prints in the quest for better ones. It's like the paralysis one can feel when approaching a beautiful hardbound sketchbook vs. the freedom of doodling on a spiralbound notepad. On the other hand, in the event that my experiment is successful I want it to be on good paper. That way I won't have to painstakingly recreate my results and possibly lose the energy of the original epiphany.

What to do? In my workshop with Matt Brown two years ago, he mentioned that he always uses Rives heavyweight paper and has been very happy with it. I used it a few times early on, but I received a lot of input from other printmakers that the Japanese paper is far superior, so I moved on. Last month, though, I bought a stack of Rives at Dick Blick for a mere $2.88 per sheet (26" x 40") and that's what I'm using on the egg prints (previous post). It's positively liberating as far as experimentation is concerned. Takes the ink real well, too, now that I know more about how to print. I'm not saying that I won't be using Japanese paper any more, but I sure like the cheaper Rives for playing around.

9 comments:

peggy said...

Hear! Hear! for BFK Rives Heavyweight. It's not cheap just good value for money, and proves that lower cost doesn't always equate with lower quality. Happy printing!

Nicole Raisin Stern said...

That's a good paper recommendation. Uh-oh, I think a moku hanga and printing bug has re-bitten me. I'm feeling a need to print something.

Diane Cutter said...

Thanks, Annie, for the reminder about this great paper. Years ago I used it a lot... and will try it out again on your recommendation.

m.Lee said...

I hear you on the cheap paper. 20$ a sheet paper scares the bejeebus out of me!

If I ever get around to trying hanga I will have to pick up some Rives Heavyweight!

Jenn said...

I've been using a lot of Rives BFK for my monoprint class and I love it. It embosses so well, but like you said is inexpensive enough that I don't feel worried about playing and making something "bad".

Annie B said...

I haven't tried the Rives BFK. I think that's the thickest of the Rives papers. I'm using Rives Heavyweight, which is a bit lighter and seems just right for moku hanga.

peggy said...

Oops, I goofed (just got excited about one of my favorite papers). BFK Rives and Rives are not one in the same. I've used the former with intaglio printing (a nice proofing paper) and now the latter with relief. Still, great paper.

Anonymous said...

I also love Rives BFK paper and think of it as a luxurious, high-end paper -- not a cheap-o thing. I also love my 24" wide roll of brown butcher paper to bang out experimental prints...
I love your site.
Sam

Anonymous said...

If you want cheap experimental Japanese Rice Paper to play with you should look at Stephen Kinsella, Inc. fine arts papers. It's based out of St. Louis, MO and they have a wide selection of rice paper from student grade to professional grade. They are very nice people, helpful and really know their paper. Just a thought, cause you get different results between rice and rag paper. Oh and there is a co. out in Santa Cruz, CA that has an over stock of Rives BFK Heavyweight right now.(really cheap!)