Experimental Cyanotypes on Washi September 09 2022

cyanotypes on washiArtist Sarah Dunn writes on papers for cyanotype: "Generally when looking for papers to create cyanotypes, I traditionally want to find something with good absorbency and light in color. Papers with internal sizing, or sizing on one side will accept cyanotype chemistry with little to no bleeding. Choosing paper naturally light in color will allow for stronger contrast between the Prussian blue of the Cyanotype ground and the white silhouettes. You also want to ensure that whatever sheet you choose is strong enough to withstand agitation in a water bath."wet cyanotype, contrase Some Japanese papers or "washi" tested out for Experimental (wet and dry) Cyanotypes on Washi workshop, July 2022 at Paper Connection in Providence, RI: Kozo White Heavyweight G-0001 was made explicitly for inkjet printing, meaning this sheet has a coated surface for holding detailed printed ink on its surface, yet its absorbency should be even. Paper Connection carries a whole series of these "inkjet" papers in a series coded with "G." Kozo White Heavyweight G-0001's pure white tone provides a striking contrast to the blue of the cyanotype print. This washi is made mainly from the very strong Kozo (paper mulberry) fiber, it's heavyweight and able to withstand agitation, moreover, you can leave it for quite a long time developing in a water bath. Other papers tested were: Kozo Natural Medium Weight M-0202, Mistumata Unryu Heavyweight G-0006, Green Tea Flecks on Green G-0016, Masa Soft White I-MM - Unlike the other 4 papers above, Masa Soft White I-MM is not made with any sizing at all. Unusual and textured washi tested were: Kinwashi M-0268 - This paper was difficult to evenly chemically coat due to the irregular and uneven surface. The irregular coating could be considered a negative or positive, so experiment; enjoy the unexpected outcomes! You may also experience uneven "washout" when you have unevenly coated paper. Heavy White Crepe I-SDW was very textured but lost its "crepe-ness" with a wet coating; the texture also yielded an uneven coat. Again, this could be a pro or con depending on the effect you are going for. A few DIY tips: if you are doing this process outside using the sun's power, prepare medium-weight, folded, clear acetate or 2 pieces of Plexiglass to "sandwich" your work while it develops under the sun. You can also use stones and rocks for weights, however, they are a bit awkward to carry from spot to spot. You can leave your clear "sandwich" on the ground while it develops, avoiding movement. We still recommend having weights like stones in case the wind picks up! They are very handy! agitating, washing paper workshops, Providence, cyanotypes, solar prints, Paper Connection Please join our mailing list and watch for future, paper arts workshops. We want you to be part of our COMMUNITY OF PAPER PEOPLE!

Jeannine Mullan: Space, Layers & Chance October 07 2020

Paper Connection caught up with Jeannine Mullan to chat about handmade paper and her process.

Experimentation and Extreme Curiosity

Jeannine Mullan - Blessed Residue of the Past "Blessed Residue of the Past" by Jeannine Mullan - Handmade Korean Hanji paper
“I use materials (salts, copper, pigments, etc.) that are fugitive, transitional, and reactive. They coalesce on paper and blur boundaries, allowing them to merge into each other and into the paper. My marks on paper are sometimes made with “things" and sometimes made with only my hands. It delights me that any word and no words can describe these non-objective images."


PCI: Jeannine, I love what you are doing! Can you define your artwork, technique, process and/or paper application? JM: I know what I am doing when I'm doing it but when I need to explain it's something else! What I can say is handmade paper is the foundational material of my artwork. I use both alternative and digital printing processes to create an initial image. The next step involves adding and peeling away various organic materials (copper oxide, salt, bleach, earth pigments, etc.). Space, layers, and chance are primary in my process. Often the paper asserts itself and I respond. The final piece is a physical manifestation of my collaboration with the paper.
Jeannine Mullan "Exploration on Cardboard 2" "Exploration on Cardboard 2" by Jeannine Mullan - Corrugated cardboard
PCI: Can you share insights into your process and current studio projects? JM: I'm first and foremost, highly experimental and curious about how materials combine on paper. PCI: Talk about how your artwork brought you to this place.
Jeannine Mullan "Exploration on Cardboard 3" "Exploration on Cardboard 3" by Jeannine Mullan - Corrugated cardboard
Jeannine Mullan "My Brain Knows it is Spring, But My Heart is Overexposed" "My Brain Knows it is Spring, but My Heart is Overexposed" by Jeannine Mullan - Handmade Japanese Gampi paper
JM: I have always been attracted to paper but never thought about it much until I began experimenting and observing how it impacted my art. I have a collection of papers acquired over the years. While traveling I bought paper simply because of how it looked, felt, and spoke of its culture. I have subsequently delved more deeply into cultural voices and histories of the specific papers I favor. PCI: What people/art forms most influence you and in what way? JM: I am inspired equally by artists and “thinkers.” The Gutai Artists of post war Japan, especially Fujiko Shiraga, appeal to my sensibilities. Their valued process above product expresses an intersection of body, spirit, and matter. Dove Bradshaw is another favorite. She uses unpredictable organic materials and her acceptance of chance and change is something I admire. The tenants of Ikenobo influences my perception of art making. Ikenobo espouses the importance of nature as a place of reflection and not of domination. PCI: Describe the importance of paper and what types of medium you use most. JM: When I am aligned with paper and aligned with the cycles of nature, I fall into an easy mindset as co-creator, a practice of acceptance and respect. For example, in Japan the mulberry is harvested in the winter, bleached in the snow, and washed in cold, fresh water. There is a science to this which came from ancient, astute observations of and in nature. PCI: Why cyanotypes as opposed to other photo processes or printmaking techniques? Can you elaborate/reflect within your work and beyond?
Cyanotype by Jeannine Mullan Cyanotype by Jeannine Mullan - Handmade Korean Hanji paper
JM: Cyanotype is a printing process where light sensitive chemicals are painted on paper and subsequently exposed to the sun, creating reverse shadows of objects placed on the paper. The blues created by this process evoke an aery blue sky and deep blue ocean. Physical light and water are essential parts of this process. PCI: How does Paper Connection play into your art?
"As I Breath, I Can Change" by Jeannine Mullan "As I Breath, I Can Change" by Jeannine Mullan - Vellum
JM: First off, I love all of the papers I have purchased from Paper Connection International. Lately I am working with imperial size Korean Hanji (paper). This paper is strong, renders deep rich blues, crinkles and presses beautifully, holds up to my constant alterations, and flutters in the wind. It has a transparency that lets light travel through it and it soaks up color creating unexpected and delightful images on the back of the paper. PCI: One last question before you go, if you could have a conversation with any artist present or past, who would it be? JM: God!

All images courtesy of Jeannine Mullan

fricka - artist in residence - our papers help tell your story. want more?

Artist of the Month: Francis Schanberger February 17 2014

I had an interesting time reading the answers to this month's AOM, as Mr. Francis Schanberger marries paper, beautiful, handmade, warm, organic paper, with photography. Photography: some may loosely think of it as an offshoot in the world of fine arts, with its glory days of dramtic black and white footage, whether a dashing Avedon model, or an Arbus character staring back at you inviting your comments, your questions, your curiosity. And now we have our phones, of course. Camera lenses, on our phones or the latest SLR do not seem to be remotely related to the paper world, nor can you use your camera as a tool to imprint your image directly on paper, (or can you)? Nevertheless, the two worlds seem to be on opposite sides of the arts timetable: digital, fast, the science of light and time, with paper, handmade, hands-on techniques, whether using a brush or a press. So, onward to Francis, who gives us a lesson in chemistry + photography + paper, and the methods are intriguing, as one artist's vision grows with each sheet of the ever trustworthy washi, or Japanese paper. PCI: So, tell us a little bit about your work, Francis, and your inspiration. FS: Describing the kind of work that I do used to be such an easy question. I am trained as a photographer but have pushed back against established ways of showing work. In the photographic world, images were for many years presented in white mats and black frames. Presenting work is more fluid now, but that initial rebellion continues in my avoidance of the inkjet print or the “publish on demand” photo book. Printmakers, painters, and installation artists have influenced me. It is stand alone photographs sometimes complimented with photographic installation. Lately I have been creating ephemeral photograms (camera-less images) using clothing and plant pigments.
Alternative photo process, Pirate Chic, by Francis Schanberger
PCI: That process is fascinating. Watch the VIDEO HERE. What do you like about working with paper? FS: Paper continually reminds me that I am making something. Specifically, the handmade papers create a tension between photographic image and photographic object. By tension I mean to suggest an awareness of the power of photography to exist as a simulation of reality and as a real, stand alone, tactile thing. Paper has mass, volume, memory, texture and sound qualities. Related to vision, it can pass light through itself and block it. PCI: Papers definitely have their own sounds, as well as smells, in a good way, of course. How did you hear about our company? FS: One of my favorite papers, a heavy weight Kozo Unryu, was encountered by chance in preparing for two different assignments in an alternative photography class I was teaching. I had found a paper to use in a demonstration of creating handmade artist’s books. I had extra paper left over and decided to try out chemistry for the students’ next project Vandyke Brown prints. This is a historical photographic process that uses iron and sliver in tandem to print out an image before it is even developed. The combination of paper and chemistry did something I never expected. Instead of immediately soaking in, as I have experienced with unsized papers, it gave me time to brush it on, eventually being absorbed by the outer most layers of the paper. After processing, I noticed that it yielded a very dense brown color somewhat hard to achieve in the Vandyke Brown (kallitype) process. When I first moved to Dayton, Ohio there was a wonderful art supply store on the west side of town called McCallister’s. They went out of business in 2009, shortly after I began working with the Kozo Unryu papers they had stocked. One of these was the paper I had used for the book assignment. I searched online for paper suppliers who might carry the identical paper. After replying to my email queries and after mailing a sample to Rhode Island, Paper Connection International identified the paper I was using and was able to ship it to the Midwest.
Winged Seeds, by Francis Schanberge Winged Seeds, by Francis Schanberger
PCI: Did you have much knowledge about Japanese papers before using our papers? How did Paper Connection help you navigate through the wonderful world of washi? FS: Paper Connection provided my first real education on Japanese papers. I had no idea the paper I had been using was considered a heavy weight and the ability to work with larger quantities of this paper helped me to learn how the Kozo responded to humidity, pH during processing, and how much chemistry I could apply to the paper surface. The paper has a very pronounced texture because of the Unryu (long fibers embedded in the paper). I began to select subject matter that would benefit and not compete with the surface.
platinum print, alternative photo process, mino washi Two Gingkos, by Francis Schanberger
PCI: What papers do you use of ours and for what process? What did you like about those papers that aided in your creative and/or technical process? Describe some of the differences between our papers and others you have worked with? FS: Currently I use Japanese papers for historical photographic printing done in Vandyke Brown and Platinum / Palladium. I have used three different papers from Paper Connection. The Kozo Unryu HW in both a brushed and unbrushed surface and a Kozo paper with no Unryu texture and hardly any sizing. I do prefer the sized paper because they allow me to brush on the emulsion over a hard table surface. However, last May I was asked to try out a brand new paper made in Ino, Japan that was a combination of Kozo and Gampi with no internal sizing. The paper is extremely thin weighing in at 30 g/sm. I had to learn to apply the light sensitive emulsion with the paper placed over a piece of felted wool. I am warming up to the new paper but the photochemistry it was designed for is pricey which limits my ability to print with it. PCI: What paper of ours would you recommend for the various methods you employ in your work? FS: I like the Kozo Unryu Heavy Weight paper for Vandyke Brown printing because it works really well with my style of brushing on light-sensitive emulsion and it has a terrific wet strength. PCI: And, of course, which artist would you like to have a nice sit down and chat with? And does paper fit in somehow? FS: If I could have a conversation with any artist present or past it would be pictorialist photographer Jane Reece. I would talk about paper because she was known in her time as an expert in printing photographs on Japanese tissue. Because of my involvement with the use of the paper from Ino (Kochi) Japan, I have become aware of the paper makers’ interest in early twentieth century photographers and their use of Japanese tissue. The paper makers of Ino are interested in whether the paper they have made bears any resemblance to the Japanese tissue of the early 1900’s. The only examples exist in museums in the United States. PCI: Thank you so much, Francis. This has been enlightening, and your work exudes the warmth and texture paper provides, with the imagery that light creates with your vision. Chemistry + photography + paper = beautiful. Francis will be featured in an alternate venue during the upcoming Kyotographie in Kyoto this Spring: COHJU gallery: Platinum Print / Alternative Process meets Tosahakkinshi April 26th- May 10th, 2014 This exhibition is a follow-up to an exhibition of three Japanese and two American photographers at the Ino-cho Paper Museum last September. Francis along with these other artists all used the new paper and printed images in the Platinum Palladium process: To learn more about Francis, please visit his website and the following links: From Walking Forces of Nature