I did manage to sneak into the studio long enough to set up and size a dozen sheets of paper. Now they're hung out to dry and will need to "settle" for a week or two before I can test the paper to see if this ratio was suitable for these papers, in this weather. It wasn't perfect. The big brush works, but it tends to dump a lot of size at the beginning of the stroke across the paper, and much less at the end, and getting that right takes practice and changes with the papers. Since I was trialing a few sheets of several different papers, when I sort of got the hang of it for one paper, I had to switch to a new paper. In a couple, I had to go back over the sheet a second time--where the brush had skipped or left a puddle and on the heavy cellulose paper--I got some wrinkles that will be permanent (and those sheets will have to be cut down to smaller sizes to get rid of the damaged parts). After a couple of weeks, I'll have a trial printing of a simple image on small pieces of each paper to see how much the absorb or resist the color. The fish-poacher and small hot-plate worked well for warming the size, I'm still not sure if I did a better job with the bigger brush. As I mentioned above, ideally, each paper will have a "best" recipe for size for moku hanga, and this ratio of glue and alum will change with the season (more glue in the summer/less in the winter) and the less alum added the better. I tried this recipe a few years ago (a total disaster) as it was on cheap, locally available, mostly pulp papers with just a small amount of kozo fiber and I ended up just gluing all the sheets together. With nearly the same recipe, on good almost 100% kozo papers, the size goes on smoothly (mostly) and I could see it got absorbed into the paper almost immediately. I'm curious to see how much my inept handling of the brush will affect the final paper, and try to tease out how much is my glue/alum ration and how much is just my inexperience with the sizing brush (dosa bake).
|All hung up to dry: Torinoko Kozo, Kozo thick natural, Hosho Professional, Kochi white.|
|Here's a buckle/kink that won't go away.|