|Front side above/back below.|
I picked up two sheets of this paper, "Thai Garden Smooth"-- at New York Central Art Supply the last time I was in NYC. I have a print idea I have been kicking around for a few years that will be a little bigger than I usually work and that would tolerate a surface that isn't perfectly smooth and where a little surface irregularity might be made part of the print. This paper seemed to be what I was looking for: just off-white, fairly heavy, and had a nice feel in the hand. It's made of 100% Thai kozo and is unsized.
Amazingly, it was also only $4.00 a sheet instead of $30-40 for Japanese Kozo papers of a similar weight.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that besides being unsized and called Thai Garden SMOOTH (emphasis mine), the back of the paper is quite textured from what looks like was a pebbly cloth or screen used to form or dry the paper and it is unsized so would need to be sized for my purposes (moku hanga).
Well, I'm ok with sizing, but I'm not sure how the back of the paper will react to size--if each of those little bumps holds or allows size to pool I'll get a pronounced pebbly look to the front too and there's a chance that that surface texture will print no matter what.....(I probably should have just sized the front and not both sides, but I didn't think of that until AFTER I had sized both sides.).
I think it's funny that I'm working on a print now that was prompted by two sheets of paper that have a good chance at being totally ill-suited to the purpose. I'm not sure if this is experimentation or just plain auto-sabotage. But as the paper was just $4/sheet I thought that it was worth a try.
But I have blocks to carve before I can even think about printing.