Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tree-Less Paper?? How Does That Work?

This is an excerpt from the Artisan's Art Spot Newsletter. I thought that it would be great to share it with you all in case you don't know what an extensive paper selection Artisan has (especially their Santa Fe store), not to mention a great in-house expert (T.Bird)!

We're often asked,
"What's up with tree-less paper?" 

"T.Bird here! You will most often find me prowling around the paper department at the back of Artisan's main store in Santa Fe.
The word 'paper' has recently been bent, folded and stretched almost beyond recognition! Gone are the days of paper-like products being manufactured solely from tree and plant materials. Traditional paper has been made from tree pulp and bark, mulberry fibers, linen, cotton and papyrus reeds for hundreds and in some cases thousands of years. But today's new "treeless papers" are making a big impression in the art supply market.
With literally hundreds of Art supports available to today's artists, it can be confusing to locate the exact product you need to create your next masterpiece.
I am going to introduce you to three new paper-like products which are relatively new to the market; TerraSkin, Yupo, and two types of Mylar (Duralar)
TerraSkin is the newest product on the market. It is made out of rock! No really! TerraSkin is made out of a combination of calcium carbonate (marble dust) and a small amount of polyethylene (a degradable plastic) as a binder. The surface of TerraSkin is smooth and has a satiny feel. It is a remarkable surface for mixed media, including graphite, charcoal, watercolor, oil, resin, encaustic, acrylic, inks and silverpoint. And since it has no grain, it cuts like butter.
The paper can literally be immersed in water for weeks or months with no ill effects (we actually tried this out at Artisan, immersing a pad of TerraSkin in a pitcher of water for two months!).
It is acid free, archival and degradable. No water or tree products are used in its manufacture. It is available in white or translucent in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Single sheets and pads are available at Artisan, and rolls can be special ordered.
Yupo has been on the market for a few years now. It is made of polypropylene, a very stable plastic like product which is also acid free and archival. It has the ability to seek its own level meaning that it will not buckle or crinkle with use. Watercolorists love this product. Its nonabsorbent, ultra smooth surface allows watercolor and inks to lay on the surface but also allows them to be easily "lifted" back off for gorgeous watery effects. You can even erase watercolors from the surface by simply rinsing it off in water.  Yupo is also available at Artisan in translucent or white, single sheets, pads and rolls by special order.
Duralar (Mylar) has been available for many years. It was originally used by the graphics and engineering industries, but has more recently been found to be excellent for Fine Art applications. I would recommend 2 side matte Mylar for pencil, marker, ink, charcoal, paint and colored pencil. The matte Duralar is translucent and works well for layering effects. Wet Media Duralar is a clear version which is treated on both sides to accept any wet media. Duralar is available at Artisan in single sheets, rolls and pads.

Explore the possibilities. We are learning new applications for all of these products everyday! And give me a call at Artisan if you have any questions! (505) 954-4179

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