Paste Papers

I’ve just made my first paste papers! This is quite a messy process and I was unable to record the process (will enlist one of the younger Lestarets as official photographer next time!) but I’m very pleased to be able to share the results of my first attempt.

I have read about paste papers before – often called poor mans marbling so I’m told – but never really considered doing it myself. I got the recipe here, but there are loads of variations all over the web to suit all preferences. I mixed up my paste the day before, and used acrylic paint for my pigment. It is glorified finger painting from then on – slap it on and make some marks with whatever you fancy. I used an old 1½” paintbrush and simply dragged and lifted. It took a couple of practice goes, but this is forgiving stuff – just keep working it through!

Eventually I got 10 A3 sheets, in 5 different patterns and colour ways:

These were carefully hung up to dry overnight and just needed a little time in the press to flatten out the curling. Simple and great fun.

But the real fascination is  in the details – in drying, the water in the paste evaporates and leaves a flat image with a slightly shiny finish.

Lifting the brush makes a natural vein-like pattern…

I managed to get a fairly convincing 3D wave effect at times…

So what is the paste paper for you ask? Endpapers for a book project I’m working on – all will be revealed soon…



5 thoughts on “Paste Papers

  1. What neat paper. And your blog is beautiful.. I just made my first book… a round back binding….but all of these in your blog are so amazing! I had no idea…..

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