the KRAFT paper dilemma

Yesterday Todd and I spent time thinking about materials and paper and had a lucky and useful conversation with Montalvo co-resident and printmaker/paper artist Imin Yeh about the right balance of printmaking and bookmaking paper to do all the many different things we want to try in our book, including cutouts, collage, screen print, letter press, digital prints etc.

Our dilemma here has been to find archival kraft paper that can play multiple roles in the book. I am a little torn personally because although we are making an artist book and have to think about archival paper, the very essence of our daily accordion books is captured in the metaphor of kraft paper. When we started making accordion books we started with grocery bags and then moved to the standard classroom kraft paper roll. The brown of the kraft paper is far from high maintenance as compared to scary blank white paper of schools. Kraft paper is not intimidating and somehow I am not worried about making a mistake on kraft paper or ripping, cutting, sticking, spilling, marking it up in ways that are far from what our constantly judgmental minds think is perfect. This seems in stark contrast to the preciousness of an art book and this tension is exciting.

grocery bag accordion

So having said all this, we want to use kraft paper (or something very close to it) in our book and were looking at places like Neenah Paper and French Paper to order expensive, archival, kraft paper. Ironic I know, and part of me questions if it would be too great a faux pas to let go of our archival kraft paper visions and go with the trusted classroom kraft. So we are still searching.

Arzu, July 9th 2015

2 thoughts on “the KRAFT paper dilemma

  1. Good point, Arvind. You could leave the archiving process to the archivists? But as a potential owner of an edition, I’d rather you solved the problem. Big HM.

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