The choice of paper is one of the most important when making a book. This time I needed a whiter paper, for both letterpress, monotype and intaglio drypoint printing.
There are lots of white papers, and quite a few are suitable for letterpress, but would they also work for the illustration processes?Only one way to find out. I was a bit like Goldilocks with the porridge, some were too textured, some too transparent, some didn't like being dunked in a water bath, and some just plain boring.
After many experiments I found the perfect paper for this book, a mouldmade from the Magnani paper mill in Italy, 100% cotton, two-sided, with an agreeably smooth but not too smooth surface and a nice drape. It also damps and dries well, and comes in different weights.
You might know there would be a snag, it is not stocked by any North American retailer. So I turned to that wonderful company John Purcell Paper, in London England, and they cut it in half and shipped it over the ocean to the west coast of Canada, it arrived safely and was perfect for the job. It worked well for the drypoint/monotypes, printed on my Ettan intaglio press and on the Craftsmen letterpress. Some pages in parts of the book have both monotype and letterpress, and it stood up well to multiple printings - yay!