A Love Post to BFK Paper

Tesia Blackburn Monoprint copyright 2013Have you ever wondered just what's up with paper? Well I have!

Recently I've been doing a lot of Gelli Prints on paper so I thought I'd take a moment and write down some thoughts about paper.

Paper first originated in China in about the second century BC.  Here's a link to an article on Wikipedia that explains the origin in detail.

For my own purposes, I'm a big fan of BFK printmaking paper. In fact, it's the only paper I use.

It is made in France by Arches.

Here's a fascinating timeline of the company from the year of 1492 (no that's not a typo).  I'm basically using a paper that has been made the same way for 500 years.  Gee, I just gave myself goose bumps.  And the fact that the same paper mill produced paper for Dominique Ingres is pause for wonder as well.

Why do I like this paper so much? Well, it's durable and very lightly sized so it's very receptive to paint and/or ink.  It doesn't buckle under a lot of water.  And when I say it's durable, I mean it.  I have painted on it with so many layers of acrylic that it becomes like leather. It doesn't break down under that much stress.

Now granted, it's not the best paper for drawing, pastel or charcoal.  Since I'm not prone to using those media it doesn't matter to me. But it may matter to you if you want a paper that stands up well to dry media.  BFK is not that paper. Nope. It's meant for printmaking or painting.  And it does an excellent job of both.

The next time you're looking for a great, really great, paper to paint or print on, try it.

You wouldn't think something as simple as paper could inspire so much love would you?

Think again.


Susan G. said...

Are you using 300 lb or some lighter weight? I'd never heard of BFK paper before, so I'm just curious how stiff it has to be to take all those layers of acrylic without curling or buckling. (For years I was put off learning to paint watercolors because of all those old books that said you had to soak the paper and stretch it. What a relief to find out that it wasn't necessary with 140lb or heavier.) Plus, I like heavily sized paper!

Tesia Blackburn said...

Hi Susan,
BFK is a wonderful lightly sized paper that is about 250 gsm, a little lighter than 140 lb. If you like heavily sized paper it may not be to your liking. I've never used it with watercolors, just acrylics. Cheers! Tesia

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