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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!

Cyanotypes - Artist Sarah Dunn Talks Accessible Art-making August 11 2022

There are many terrifying things about finishing college. Many graduates are concerned with entering the real-world market. For me, it was entering a world without 24/7 print shop access. What was I to do without acid baths, graining sinks, pressure washers, and printing presses? Answer: Cyanotype. I have worked in most printmaking methods, but cyanotype hadn't piqued my interest. What can I say? I am not a blue person. The realization that there was an accessible method and materials that didn't require traditional makers spaces was evolutionary. All I needed was a dark room and a sunny day. Cyanotypes were invented in the 1840s by astronomer and chemist John Federick William Herschel. Anna Atkins, a trained botanist, popularized the technique by establishing this photographic process as an accurate alternative to scientific illustration. One of the earliest examples is her book, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. Cyanotypes are defined as, irreproducible prints, with white silhouettes on Prussian blue grounds. A mixture of equal parts ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide is applied in a low-light environment. Jacquard makes an easy-to-use kit found at most art retailers. The importance of coating your paper evenly and in a low-light environment will ensure further success. A foam brush gets an even layer and clean margins. However, I love the look of using a brush and creating wispy margins. After coating, the paper is left to dry in your 'darkened room.' An actual dark room with red light is ideal. However, you can use a low-lit room with covered windows. I usually put them in the bathtub. Works like a charm.
Laying in the sun
Papers, most recently tried: Natural Kozo Medium Weight M-0202 White Kozo Heavyweight G-0001 Green Tea Flecks on Green G-0016 Mitsumata Unryu Heavy Weight Brushed Surface G-0006 Masa Soft White I-MM or I-MMLg Now the fun part. Exposure! Artists traditionally arrange their compositions in a dark room. If you lack bat vision, move into a more lit area as long as your coated paper remains out of direct sunlight - the brighter the area, the faster you'll need to work. The first time I tried making cyanotypes, I arranged my entire composition outside in direct sunlight. It felt like a fast-paced game show. Not exactly a relaxing experience. However, the prints worked due to my lightning speed. I suggest placing your coated paper on a sheet of plexiglass, firm paper, or cardboard before arranging your composition. This will make transferring your piece into the sunlight easier. Arrange objects you'd like exposed, remembering that cyanotypes are silhouettes of objects. If you place a smaller leaf inside a large leaf, the larger leaf will only be exposed. The larger consumes the smaller leaf. After completing your composition, place a sheet of clear glass, plexiglass, or acetate on top to weigh down the objects. Your sandwiched cardboard, paper, and Plexi are ready to move outside into direct sunlight. I strongly recommend using rocks or other paperweights to hold down your work if you use acetate instead of glass or plexiglass. The wind can and will blow everything away. It’s embarrassing chasing after your artwork in the parking lot while your neighbors watch. Ask me how I know.
Stopping the process with a water bath
Once the cyanotype turns a bronzy-brown color, it is ready to be washed out. Carry the entire sandwich out of direct sunlight. Use cool water to wash the print. Many artists prefer to do this in some kind of low vat or tub, continuously agitating the paper by rocking the vat back and forth or using their hands. The print is thoroughly washed out when the ground has turned blue, and the silhouettes lighten. While it dries, the Prussian blue grows deeper in color.
Dry version on the left, the wet version on the right
Since the 1840s, this is how traditional cyanotypes were made. However, as with any medium, artists have pushed boundaries. My personal favorite is wet cyanotypes. This technique adds manipulators such as herbs, salt, pepper, coffee grounds, and lemon juice while the paper is still wet with chemistry, creating multiple colors and variations. Move sandwiched piece (while wet) into the sun to finish exposure. The results have a more painterly appearance, with the overall look of being hand-dyed. This method gives a more botanical or nature-inspired feel.
Salt and soap bubbles
Amendments added to your wet work create texture and color: Salt makes small spots or an acid-dye effect. Lemon juice produces large spots. Foamy soap gives a subtle washy effect, changing the deep blue background to earthy green. Kitchen items such as turmeric, paprika, tea, and coffee can be sprinkled to create more color variations. Experiment with any and everything! Effects will vary. The rest of the wet process is similar to the traditional dry cyanotype except for exposure time. Dry cyanotypes take 5-30 minutes, determined by sun conditions. Wet cyanotypes may take up to 24 hours. Generally, the longer you can leave exposed to the sun, the better. I typically leave mine for two hours in full sun. I recently taught a workshop at Paper Connection with students waiting as little as 30 minutes before washing their prints. Their pieces turned out beautifully. Currently, I am using wet cyanotypes to re-panel lampshades I thrifted. The light shining through really emphasizes the subtleties in texture and color. Overall, I love the accessibility cyanotypes give my artistic practice. I enjoy making simply for the joy it brings me. What will you make with cyanotypes? I would love to see. Stay tuned for more workshops through Paper Connection. Many thanks to Lauren Pearlman for helping with photography.
Sarah Dunn - Artist-in-residence Instagram@sarah.is.dunn sarahdunnstudio.com
Note: In the next blog post, we'll do a deeper dive into papers that work well with cyanotypes. Check out our Monthly Subscription Service and Shop Paper Pastiche! our papers help tell your story - want more? http://paperconnection.com/news/

PD Packard on Creative Freedom June 23 2022

Artist, PD Packard Photo Credit: Faye Arranz
We checked in with PD Packard. How did your creative journey bring you to this place? I’ve always had a natural love of color. When growing up in Washington, D.C., and trying to determine how I would make an income with this love of color, I believed that going to a university would be the answer. I began studying fashion design at Parsons School of Design in NYC. Through an exchange program, I applied for and was awarded a full scholarship to Saint Martin’s School of Art (aka Central Saint Martin’s), in London, England. There I obtained a BFA in Fashion and Textile Design. At Saint Martin’s I was given a lot of creative freedom, something that had been missing at Parsons. Most of my days at Saint Martin’s were spent working in the textile department dyeing and printing fabrics, and then executing many self-indulgent, crazy-butt ideas for clothing and accessories that weren’t viewed as very commercial by my teachers. It was a wonderful foundation and even today experimenting without restraints is a very important part of developing any of my ideas, helping me discern and refine each step towards completion.
Travel & Cosmetic Bags, designed under the PD Packard Label Medium: 100% Cotton Size: Various Date: 1986 - 1996
When I returned to the states in the late 80s, I began designing packaging, POP displays, and original textile and surface designs primarily for the cosmetic industry in NYC. Under my own label, PD Packard, I also designed and produced exclusive lines of travel and cosmetic bags for the department stores Barneys New York & Japan, Neiman Marcus, Henri Bendel, and Bergdorf Goodman that were sold nationally and internationally. There’s real money to be made in production. The problem was that I felt I was always squeezed like a lemon, asked to produce cheaper, faster, and to make it happen yesterday. I grew to dislike the work and one day decided to stop. Many of the principles in printmaking are similar to fabric and surface design making an easy and natural transition for me into fine art printmaking in 2009. How would you define your art and what is the meaning behind your work? I am called a Multimedia Artist, using printmaking in combination with different medias and techniques; photography, animation, and painting to share my love for color, and pattern. My work is committed to bringing attention to the power that Nature has to influence our perception of art and design. I am not the expressor, I am the expression. When I begin a project, I try to let go of my ego and be open and receptive to inspiration. In the essay, “The Untroubled Mind" (1972), the painter/author Agnes Martin, speaks of art as beauty, and states that this beauty is unattached, that it’s in your Mind; it’s inspirational. I believe that this inspiration is free and available to all, beyond person, place, or thing; it’s unconditional Love. Unconditional Love means that I will remain committed to my work even if the condition seems unfavorable. Regardless of the circumstance or outcome, I am self-motivated to continue my work because of this unconditional Love. Can you describe the importance of paper (or other mediums) in your work, what type of paper (medium) you use most, and why?
Printed Decorative Papers
Medium: Relief printmaking method, M-0207 Kozo White Text Weight with Sizing-56gsm and M-0202 Natural Kozo Medium Weight-44gsm.
Size: 25” height x 37” width
Dates: Various
The paper I use is basically Kozo x Kozo = Kozo. Initially, when creating my artwork, I used mostly papers made from cotton. Around 2010, I met the NYC-based Japanese artist, Yasuyo Tanaka, while taking a class on Japanese Bookbinding with her at the Manhattan Graphics Center. I noted how wonderful the collection of Japanese Kozo papers that Yasuyo used, and she shared Paper Connection as her source. Since then, I’ve been using Paper Connection’s fine art papers, specifically whites, and naturals, in my work. My foundation is painting. I love the depth of color I can achieve through layering when working in watercolors. In 2009 I began using the Akua Intaglio Printmaking Inks trying to translate this layered, watercolor effect into printmaking but found my prints became too saturated with ink. A turning point came in 2015 when from a brief demonstration on the use of Akua Liquid Pigments by the artist and Akua Inks inventor, Susan Rostow, I was inspired to experiment. A medium entirely new to my printmaking process, I discovered that with the Akua Liquid Pigments I could print almost unlimited sheer layers of color. An absolute necessity in creating this method of decorative paper is the use of Japanese Kozo paper, or in English, mulberry paper. Kozo is highly absorbent and has long fibers that give the paper strength and durability to withstand multiple layers of ink. Two Paper Connection papers that work well for this method are M-0207 Kozo White Text Weight with Sizing-56gsm, and M-0202 Natural Kozo Medium Weight-44gsm. With this medium, I’ve developed a technique for creating printed decorative papers that I use in almost every aspect of my work; book art, sculpture, installation, animation, and much more. Printed Decorative Papers are all about the color story. To really experience the full extent of this process, you start by committing to a color story with a minimum of 5 or more different colors. The more colors you use, the better the effect so it’s important to be courageous and keep applying layers. I take dried flowers and leaves I’ve harvested from my garden or collected off the streets of NYC and lay them in a pattern of my desire on top of a Plexi printmaking plate that has been coated with Akua Liquid Pigment. During the printing process, I try to be open to - rethink, adapt, or change, if something is not moving as planned. The finished print usually ends up with 15+ layers of different colors with a beautiful, layered effect, somewhat like watercolor. To know more about my technique for Printing Decorative Papers with Akua Inks, you can find the video on the Akua Printshop Channel here > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGZYtCZ4ul4 Are there papers from Paper Connection that you can speak about/provide insights, elaborations, process, and/or integrity of quality? Two projects of mine that I believe showcase the strength, diversity, and beauty of the Japanese Kozo paper from Paper Connection are OUTSHINE fear and Armour Clad In LOVE. On a practical note, I’ve learned from Paper Connection’s owner, Lauren Pearlman Sugita, that Kozo is an environmentally friendly traditional Japanese papermaking product. Because the Kozo bush is a renewable shrub that’s harvested annually, the plants will regenerate continually for many years. OUTSHINE fear is a series of works that combine the very popular alternative photographic method cyanotype and laser-cut Plexi plates created from computer-generated designs.
OUTSHINE fear, Watch Thought, NO fear
Medium: Gold Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser cut Plexi printing plates,
Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW Kozo paper, combined with
alternative photographic method cyanotype.
Size: 18” height x 24” width
Date: August 2020
The cyanotype photos were developed on Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW. The Sakamoto paper works brilliantly when developing and exposing the image onto the paper achieving beautiful, clear images. Because of the strength of the paper, it’s possible to expose or tone the image many times without the paper breaking down. Unfortunately, the papers are no longer being produced. This project was based on the prompt: Question: How does one encourage and motivate others when opportunity appears to be limited? Answer: LOVE MORE for every hate. I am a parent and an educator living and working in NYC. On March 22, 2020, my twin 17 years old daughters were informed that they would not be returning to their high school, three months shy of their graduation. They were attending a NYC performance & art high school, both in the visual arts program. Art is social, so when the school began teaching remotely many of the students did not show up to the online classes. Without the use of the school’s studio space, art supplies, and direct guidance from teachers and their peers, many students found it difficult to work on their own. Some students became despondent and didn’t complete their work. Through the years I've been taking photos of my children and using them as my muse. It’s a great working relationship because they’re very trusting and not concerned about how they look in the final artwork. It’s very liberating for me as an artist.

For reference, you can find the original post for OUTSHINE fear here: https://www.pdpackardlovemore.com/post/outshine-fear

Discord Is The Absence of Truth Medium: Gold Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser cut Plexi printing plates, Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW Kozo paper, combined with alternative photographic method cyanotype. Size: 18” height x 12” width Date: August 2020 SOUL AWARENESS NOT sense awareness Medium: Gold Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser cut Plexi printing plates, Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW Kozo paper, combined with alternative photographic method cyanotype. Size: 18” height x 12” width Date: August 2020
The Photographic Process for SOUL AWARENESS NOT sense awareness
Top Right Image: Original Image
Top Left Image: Inverted Transparency (negative) Use to Expose Print
Bottom Right Image: Chemical Reaction to Sensitized (coated with cyanotype formula) Sakamoto Kozo Paper Exposed to Sun.
Bottom Left Image: Final Print After Toned in Borax Bath
unclasp the hold on thought: think ANEW Medium: Gold Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser cut Plexi printing plates, Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW Kozo paper, combined with alternative photographic method cyanotype. Size: 18” height x 12” width Date: August 2020 Process for unclasp the hold on thought: think ANEW Left Image: Computer Generated Artwork for Printing Plate Right Image: Akua Intaglio Metallic Gold Inked Laser Cut Plexi Printmaking Plate Life living Love loving Soul feeling Mind knowing Medium: Gold Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser cut Plexi printing plates, Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW Kozo paper, combined with alternative photographic method cyanotype. Size: 18” height x 12” width Date: August 2020 Armour Clad in LOVE: quarantine in NYC During the end of the March 2020 quarantine in NYC, I took early morning walks through nearby Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, NY, collecting tree parts to use as content for the short films I create. With skills from my years designing in the fashion industry, I created a suit using the printing plates from OUTSHINE fear and my printed decorative papers on Japanese Kozo paper. The Kozo paper is so strong and resilient that the suit can actually be worn. The suit represents the idea of our earth, and all of humanity as being armour clad, and protected by LOVE.
Armour Clad in LOVE
Medium: Decorative paper & Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser
cut Plexi printing plates, M-0207 Kozo White Text Weight
with Sizing-56gsm.
Size: 72” height x 50” width, assembled
Date: April 2020
Armour Clad in LOVE, jacket stitch detail
Medium: Decorative paper & Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser
cut Plexi printing plates, M-0207 Kozo White Text Weight
with Sizing-56gsm.
Size: 72” height x 50” width, assembled
Date: April 2020
Armour Clad in LOVE, pant stitch detail
Medium: Decorative paper & Akua Intaglio Ink on Laser
cut Plexi printing plates, M-0207 Kozo White Text Weight
with Sizing-56gsm.
Size: 72” height x 50” width, assembled
Date: April 2020
Ground Print for Armour Clad in LOVE
Medium: A ground layer was created using my Printed Decorative
paper method, using dried plants as a stencil together with printing
multiple layers of plates inked with the transparent-like Akua Liquid
Pigments on M-0207 Kozo White Text Weight with Sizing-56gsm.
Size: 25” height x 37” width
Date: April 2020
Inked laser-cut Plexi printing plate used for
Armour Clad in LOVE
Medium: The final top layer was printed with the Akua Intaglio
Inks using laser-cut Plexi printing plates. The sheen on the print
was created by adding silver metallic intaglio ink to ultramarine
blue and phthalo blue. The original designs for the laser-cut plates were computer-generated.
Size: 25” height x 37” width
Date: April 2020
For reference, you can find the original post here: https://www.pdpackardlovemore.com/post/armour-clad-in-love-quarantine-in-nyc What influences inspire you and why? In the book, Saul Bass A Life in Film & Design, he describes the ideal trademark as “thinking made visible.” That’s a principle I strive to express in my artwork. I’ve always loved bold graphics, with self-similar images and mathematical order. In the late 80s, a friend took me to hear a lecture on graphic design given at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), in NYC. I had no idea who the guest speaker was, and in my naive mind, he looked like some regular, middle-aged man wearing a suit and heavy, black-rimmed glasses. He was introduced as Saul Bass, the American graphic designer, and filmmaker. From the start, I was incredibly impressed with his work especially when he showed his title sequences he had created for many well-known movies, like The Pink Panther and for films by Alfred Hitchcock. For Hitchcock’s movies, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Psycho, Bass invented this type of kinetic typography in his title sequences that I love. Bass was also a prolific trademark or logo designer, and many of his logos are still in use today, showing the longevity and strength of his work. Longevity and strength are traits that I greatly admire in anyone's work. Graphics and film have made a big, inspirational impact on me as a designer and visual artist. In 2018, I began creating short films, or vignettes. I use printmaking in combination with Nature to create visual poetry that shares my thirst for color, nature, and unconditional LOVE, not conditional romance. To bring my artwork to life I interlace and overlay live-action video with flat animation mediums in combination with music that flow from one scene to the next. My most recent short film project was organized by the artist pair, Phyllis and Victor Merriam of the thepostdigitalprintmakers, and Susan Rostow of Akua Inks. I was invited to create an original animation for PRINTFLIX, a film screening featuring ten artists that use printmaking in combination with animation. The screening was held during the SGC International MakerReady Virtual Event Saturday, April 10, 2021, showcasing the Armour Clad in LOVE suit made with papers sourced from Paper Connection. Short Film, Armour Clad in LOVE: Paper Connection papers used: Aiko’s AI-232 Sakamoto Natural LW, Natural Kozo Medium Weight-44gsm M-0202, and Kozo paper G-0008. Mediums: Drypoint etching, Relief printmaking, laser-cut printmaking plates, and cyanotype. View Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Fo-u4w5_0 If you could converse with any artist present/past, who would it be and what would you ask? Due credit goes to Kojiro Ikegami, one of Japan’s leading professional bookbinders. Many years ago, I bought his book titled, Japanese Book-binding, Instructions from a Master Craftsman. Although I believe he is no longer living, I would love to have had the opportunity to thank him for generously sharing instructions for making major, historically important styles of Japanese binding and book cases. I find that when you’re focused on creating the most beautiful artwork, or in his case, binding books, most of your time is spent resolving technical problems that might come up when executing a piece. It takes a lot of humility to freely share your knowledge with others when you’ve spent a lifetime committed to perfecting your skills. I am so grateful that I have access to his easy-to-use book-binding instructions and have been able to expand his principles into box art, custom-framed artwork, freestanding walls, and so much more. I can only imagine how special the opportunity was to train under this master. Do you have any upcoming shows?
Artist, PD Packard working in her Brooklyn, NY studio. Photo Credit: Faye Arranz
I am currently part of the traveling exhibition called: CONNECT: Small Prints by Members of The Boston Printmakers 2021 – 2023 This small print show was developed in partnership with the venerable Providence Art Club in Rhode Island to celebrate The Boston Printmakers upcoming 75th anniversary in 2023. Prompted by the theme of “communication,” with a suggested image size of a cell phone, or no larger than 8”x10”, members of the Boston Printmakers were asked to create prints about “messaging,” “news,” or content they wanted to “post." Upcoming Exhibition Dates: October 2022: Oregon Society of Artists, Portland OR Dates TBA March 5, 2023 – April 5, 2023: Center for Contemporary Printmaking Share your current projects: Since March 2022 I’ve been working with the American composer, songwriter, and producer Paul Brill on a commission to create the artwork for his latest 12” vinyl record, The Cost of Believing, and for "45" or 7-inch vinyl singles scheduled to debut in October 2022. Paul gave me the freedom to create what I want, which is an artist’s dream. I am truly grateful for this commission. Initially, it was a challenge because there were practically no rules and infinite directions in which I could go. I’ve listened to his music several times during the process of recording the album, but my focus was on interpreting his lyrics visionally for the album cover in the most beautiful, collaborative way. On June 9th I presented the first step of the project, a body of original artwork for the album cover that consisted of sixteen unique pieces. Using the techniques of cyanotype, decorative papers, and laser-cut printing plates all the original artwork was created on Aiko's Sakamoto Heavyweight-AI-224B, Kozoshi Natural Extra Heavyweight-M-0206-#3-80gsm and Kozo White Text Weight with Sizing-56gsm M-0207. Here’s a selection of the recently presented artwork for the album covers.
God Loves You the Most
Medium: Alternative photographic method
cyanotype on Aiko's Sakamoto Heavyweight-AI-224B
Size: 12.5” height x 12.5” width
Date: June 2022
Unblunted Mind
Medium: Alternative photographic method
cyanotype on Aiko's Sakamoto Heavyweight-AI-224B
Size: 12.5” height x 12.5” width
Date: June 2022
The Promise of Light
Medium: Computer-designed laser-cut Plexi printing plate, decorative papers, on Kozoshi Natural Extra Heavyweight-M-0206-#3-80gsm
Size: 24” height x 18” width
Date: June 2022
The Cost of Believing
Medium: Computer-designed laser-cut Plexi
printing plate, decorative papers, on Kozoshi
Natural Extra Heavyweight M-0206-#3-80gsm
Size: 12.5” height x 12.5” width
Date: June 2022
PD Packard Contact Email pdpackard@pdpackard.com Website www.pdpackard.com
Fricka Jones - Artist, Designer, Imagineer, Writer, Editor, Collaborator, Support maricooh@gmail.com patriciajones.crevado.com
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Holey Smoke! Rakusui M-0803 February 28 2019

https://youtu.be/mQ6lAADq35k


Artist of the Month, Nichol Markowitz February 09 2019

With expressive and thoughtful line, Nichol Markowitz's work engages the fragility of memories and our conceptions of the self. In her words: "As a species our history is preserved through the collective human consciousness; our bodies vessels for the past and the present, knowledge, memory, legends and thought." The imagery is evocative and driven by her desire to "to transform these fleeting moments into monuments to the manipulated, revered, invented, and ingrained histories that define us as a species, a culture, and as individuals." She utilizes a multiplicity of techniques including mokuhanga, copper-plate etching, and Japanese scroll mounting. In her artist statement, Nichol emphasizes "Process is an essential component in the creation of my work," concluding that it "is not merely a means to an end but a meditative experience during which the physicality of carving a woodblock or etching a plate determines the way the image is brought into being.
Q: Where do you source your imagery? My source material consists primarily of photographs and is almost completely derived from my ongoing collection of found and personal photographs. The personal photographs include both family photographs going back to my great grandparents as well as a large catalogue of nature and plant photographs that I have taken myself which I use as both both references for new images and for photo-transfer elements in my works. I am also incredibly inspired by natural forms and frequently reference books with photographs or scientific illustrations of plants, flowers, shells, human anatomy and other natural forms. Q: Who or what do you think has been the most influential in your work? I think that overall, printmaking has left the biggest impression on me. Not only is it the medium that I work in most frequently, but it has also greatly influenced the way that I approach image making in general. I especially appreciate that, although most printmaking processes have been around for 500 years or more, there is still an endless amount of experimentation that can happen within these traditional processes which, to me, makes the medium simultaneously contemporary and traditional. Q: Can you elaborate on how you came to use traditional Japanese scroll mounting techniques and the ways that it has impacted your practice?
“In the Garden of Retrospection”
I started using Japanese scroll mounting techniques about a year after college when I started making my first large-scale mokuhanga prints. For practical and economic reasons I was printing on relatively thin sekishu paper. The sekishu came on a 39 inch roll that was large enough that I wouldn't have to piece together multiple pieces of paper for a single image, which made registration simpler, but came with the downside of appearing a little flimsy, lacking a certain substance as a finished print. At the time, I was working at a fine art press in Hawaii and we were using traditional Japanese mounting techniques to execute a suite of 15 woodblock prints that were each 8 feet x 4 feet. I realized that the same process that we were using for those prints could just as easily be applied to my own work. Since then, it has been a process that is inseparable from my regular art practice, freeing me from size constraints, enabling me to use a wider range of papers and even fabric, and to create archival collages, as well as preserve, fortify, and repair delicate and damaged works.
Q: How would you describe your relationship to washi (Japanese paper) and its significance in your work?
Being a printmaker, I have a deep love for traditional processes and quality craftsmanship. To me, washi embodies both of these qualities, while also being incredibly beautiful and an excellent matrix for a variety of printmaking techniques. Each paper has a different personality and it's vital to the success of a print that the paper is chosen intelligently, with content and process in mind. I use washi consistently for ink painting, mokuhanga, collage, and backing and mounting techniques. While also being aesthetically beautiful, the versatility and strength of washi is what makes it a constant in my artistic practice.
Q: Is there a particular paper that you use more than any other and why? I genuinely love to experiment with all different types of paper; cotton rag, amate, washi, hanji :you name it, I'll try it, but ultimately, my paper choice comes down to what I'm using it for. For etching I love a nice gampi (paper) chine colle on Somerset satin 350gsm paper. For mokuhanga, I prefer heavyweight kozo papers with a healthy bit of sizing, most recently I have been printing on the Sakamoto heavyweight paper that you carry and I love it. For my collage work and photo transfers I like to use colored hanji (Korean mulberry paper) and various colored rag papers. Sekishu is still my go-to for backing. With all that said, there are few papers more beautiful and finely crafted than natural heavyweight Gampi Kitakata. Honestly, everything looks better on gampi! Q: As printmaster for Favianna Rodriguez’s West Oakland studio, we were very excited when you shared your innovations to overcome issues with the fugitive pigments of some hanji (Korean mulberry paper).Can you briefly share with our community your suggestions to deal with this?
“Sapience”
First, and most obvious, is to always display work on paper in frames that are fitted with museum-grade glass or OP-3 plexi. Anything that provides conservation grade UV protection on a broad spectrum will prevent fading. For us, the fugitive pigments started to be more problematic when Favianna started collaging with the hanji papers on birch panels. Since these are displayed directly on the wall without a glass or plexi barrier, I started to experiment with different finishes for protection from fading and ultimately settled on Golden brand MSA varnish with UVLS. This is an acrylic solution polymer that incorporates a system of ultraviolet filters and light stabilizers that is advertised as removable for conservation and cleaning purposes, although I have not tried removing it myself.
“Haven”
This varnish is a bit thick and takes two separate coats, two weeks apart, on an absorbent surface such as paper and, I should warn, is highly toxic and only to be used with appropriate respiratory gear and gloves in a well ventilated space. For aesthetic reasons we have been working with the gloss version of this product, but it is also available in matte and satin. I would recommend choosing your brush carefully as overworking the varnish on the paper surface can cause some abrasion if you're not careful. I personally like to use brushes that have a good amount of flex and a synthetic bristle, nothing too expensive as this varnish will destroy your brush unless you buy the specific Golden brand solvent for this product. I buy the brushes we use from Home Depot, they usually have a decent selection of chisel-tipped finishing brushes that work great. Q: Can you describe a typical day in the studio? I always have several projects at different stages going at any one time so I typically rotate between them. If I'm editioning, everything else gets put on hold and I'm very organized and systematic about working my way through all the steps, from start to finish over several days. If I'm not editioning, first thing, when I get into my studio, I like to do quick brainstorming sketches of new ideas, usually with ink and a brush. This part of my practice is an extension of my sketchbook and is a place where I allow myself to experiment and take risks without judgement. After an hour or two of warming up I transition to more complex pieces that are already in progress and will typically spend the rest of the day focused on a single project like carving woodblocks, planning out a new print, or piecing together intricate collages. Overall, I try to keep a balance between some of the more tedious tasks with the more creative aspects of my practice, moving between the two when I feel tired or hit a creative wall.

Simple Snowflake Origami January 01 2019

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...or so it usually goes - but, with a 55 degree New Year's day it seems like a far off notion. Maybe we need to come up with a little "snow dance?" For now, we will share a simple snowflake fold that is quick and easy. Make a few with colorful papers and viola - overdue on your holiday cards? Or, just need to send a million overdue thank yous? This is your chance! Happy New Year everyone! Here is a PDF with very basic instructions: Origami Snowflake Instruction

Washi in My Everyday Life November 30 2018

washi ningyo, printmaking, kakishibu, unryushi Streaming sunshine illuminates this handmade print on kakishibu dyed unryu paper - illustrating the warmth and translucency of washi. Washi ningyo (paper doll) kimono on right.
Part 2 – Wonderful Washi
Richard Flavin, Ryoko Haraguchi, Sind, Tokyo, kakishibu stitched kaikshibu washi shoulder bag by Richard Flavin and Ryoko Haraguchi.
While washi (Japanese paper) is a long-lasting Japanese traditional craft, how it became an important part of Japanese culture is almost forgotten even by most Japanese. In thinking about washi's role in etiquette, social rituals, and some possibly overlooked utilitarian uses, in this post, I want to show you some of my personal selection of everyday paper items , as well as paper objects I see everyday outside.
knitted paper, paper yarn, shifu, paper thread, paper shawl Knitted paper shawl used as a curtain, allows filtering of light and provides a subtle screen of privacy.
Of course, there are endless applications for paper in the Western world; like its use in thinks book or art conservation, book arts, calligraphy, printmaking, painting, collage and so on. However, there are also those strictly Japanese paper arts, which are fairly well-known to the average modern day Japanese. For example, shōdo (Japanese style calligraphy),
money envelopes with noshi
chigiri-e, landscape, paper painting, paper collage Chigiri-e landscape.
chigiri-e (paper-tearing collage),and washi ningyo (paper dolls). Shōji and fusuma (sliding doors in Japanese style rooms) are quite common home interior components used everyday. Ritualistic uses of paper seen every day in daily life in Japan. Omikuji or horoscope papers tied to a branch or wooden stand.
omikuji, horoscope, superstition, Japanese life Omikuji or paper horoscope tied to a wooden stand on temple grounds. Photo take Sept, 2018
gohei, kamisama, shintoukyou, tohoku gohei (zig zag shaped papers) representing god, with rope (shimenawa) around old, red cypress tree. Photo taken Sept. 2018
Gohei hung from a shimenawa (rope) in this case around an ancient and sacred red cypress tree. Reminiscent of Miyazaki's Tonari no Totoro background scenes, yes? Washi , as you can tell, is one of my first loves in the realm of paper. My relationship with washi grew more intimate after moving to Japan in the 1980's, attempting to immerse myself in the Japanese culture and language. I came to learn that washi's inherent beauty exudes special powers of joy to those who use it. More than 50 years of collecting ephemera, close to 30 years of selling washi ; (now via Paper Connection), and working with the endearing papermakers in Japan, has lead me to this state of chronic washi-on-the-brain. Washi is part of my daily life both physically and emotionally and I really don't mind at all!

Hikkake Echizen Magic August 15 2018

Echizen papers' exquisite sheen and patterning!
Echizen washi comes to us from Fukui Prefecture, a very famous paper-making area in western Japan. It is a region that is most recognized for production of Japan's notable paper currency. Echizen Washi is a special collection of paper with a sheen. Hikkake, the brocade-like patterns on surface of some of the Echizen papers are created by using a hand-soldered, large, metal watermark screen dipped in mitsumata fiber and then couched on a heavier base sheet. The pattern is literally like a smooth pulp painting that binds to the surface.
echizen, rice paper, washi, japanese paper, watermark, patterned paper Simple invitation card becomes super special printed on echizen washi.
The sheen of the mitsumata fiber emphasizes the patterns. These subtle and elegant papers are amazing for creating wedding invitations, gift cards and book arts.

Check out this fun link to a map of the Echizen washi production areas!


Sugikawashi! June 21 2018

Paper Connection Founder and President, Lauren Pearlman Sugita describes the exquisite paper, Sugikawashi! Check it out here: Sugikawashi

Knowing Yana September 19 2016

Paper Connection had the privilege of assisting in with the paper for a very special exhibit honoring the life and artwork of Yana Filkovsky-Saito. Her surviving husband Zen Saito, organized and curated this special showing of Yana's photomontage images; she called "vertipology", plus some color drawings. The exhibit was called Half-Life-Time-Capsules and was displayed at Gallery Sitka from late July to late August. Certain pieces are currently hung at Gallery Sitka West and by the end of the year, all pieces will move to a new memorial gallery/museum called YAM- Yana's Art Museum; now under construction in Bonaire.Awagami, AIJP, Yana Filofsky Gallery SitkaIn reading her artist statement, we thought the following truly articulated her goal of the pieces shown in Half-Life-Time-Capsules. Yana says: "My hope is that my work would resonate with a viewer regarding their own experience, which may be deeply personal, yet simultaneously universal in its essence. If it evokes a reassuring sense of strange familiarity, or familiar strangeness, in even just one of all viewers, then it has struck that chord." Fighting illness since she was a child, Yana's life may not have been an easy one, but her story continues to inspire us. Yana's strong desire to connect, comes through her photography and unique vision. We are fortunate we can return to her amazing artwork to know her more; to learn of her brilliance with art and technology. Thank you Yana. Your beautiful creations connected us to new aspects of Japanese papers, new digital photography techniques, but most importantly you bonded us to very special people in this world.
photomontage images Red Dress by Yana Filkovsky-Saito
drawingprintphotomontage imagesphotomontage images photomontage images All of Yana;s photomontage images and color drawings exhibited were printed on a Canon iPF6400 on AIJP Bamboo Paper now stocked at Paper Connection. Click here for more information. Photos above by Zen Saito, Lawrence Libby and Paperwoman.