This age old question has been asked for centuries… and quite frankly we have always been a little confused as to what the best option may be.
When talking about papers these days, it is nearly impossible to neglect to acknowledge Buffering agents. Most of our papers have them, and they are not a marblers friend! Calcium Carbonate is an increasing buffering agent in many papers these days. This buffering agent is a cheaper “fill” then pure paper pulp, and is infiltrating the fibers of our commercially made paper!
so problematic in the marbling process?
The answer lies in the way pigments are absorbed by the paper in conjunction with the sheets wet-strength. Using a filler as opposed to pure paper pulp has a negative effect on both of these characteristics.
And how can we avoid cheap fillers to help create the best marbled paper possible?
this product is called:
UNBUFFERED BOND PAPER
Originally purposed as an interleaving and envelope paper for archival purposes… we have since discovered its relevance & ideal characteristics suited for the marbling industry.
It is an 80lb text, ph neutral, 25% cotton paper of high quality, free of any buffering agents.
Recently, our customer James Tapley, ordered some Bond Paper to test on his own. This is what he had to say:
I wanted to let you know that the bond marbles beautifully. Sheets can be alumed (the standard one level tbsp per cup water), allowed to dry, and they flatten perfectly for use later. The surface is just the right amount of smooth, not too toothy (which disrupts fine lines) and not to hard and shiny, just right. I’m putting a finished sheet in the mail so you can judge for yourself but you should have no fear in recommending it. My only suggestion would be that you specify grain direction for each of the sheet sizes you offer.
There is a cheaper sulphite drawing paper that Dick Blick offers (Iris Nevins uses it) but it is not near so nice as the bond’s surface or wet strength. And while Light Impressions offers the bond at a slightly lower price they don’t maintain a stock and customer service is pretty bad.
So thanks, I’ll be ordering some more from you. I prefer a 20″ x 26″ sheet but the offcuts will always come in handy. Hope its a grand holiday weekend for you.