Papers, papers and more papers!

What variety of papers do you resort to for your printing job — artists’ books, prints, photography? 

Do you own an inkjet printer, a laser printer or a letterpress?

These questions are often asked by other artists or blog readers on the substrate I use to produce my artists’ books. I find papers tactile and love their different textures, whether smooth, rough, lightweight or thick. It's a pleasure to receive a visual signal of the tactile experience a paper communicates.

When I first started producing artists' books, finding papers that would impart the meaning of my publications demanded lots of research. In the end, the potential of papers designed for inkjet printers offered my books their clear, precise, vivid colours, and the contemporary look I enjoy.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields manhole covers printed on Generations Quad

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields manhole covers printed on Generations Quad

Generations Quad (10 mil-260 gsm) was the first inkjet paper I purchased. This is a lustre photographic paper that produces a consistent image with instant dry-time allowing prints to be handled immediately without fingerprints or scuffing. It’s available in different sizes, 13 x 19 inches works well for my template in which I print images of manhole covers for my on-going project City Shields. I can still purchase it after 18 years.

I have used Aspen paper for many book projects, as in the insert for City Shields, the pages for Equinox, 26NOV2006, and Ambivalence. Unfortunately Aspen paper is no longer available.

Using I have printed Parade, Outside the Studio, 6:45, Decades Apart, and obsession. This paper is excellent for folded pages, since it does not seem to break

Papers for inkjet printers are coated and the fibres break when folded even on the proper grain direction. After looking for various types of papers, I identified a couple that work well for the production process of the accordion, fold out, gatefold,

Moab Papers by Legion Papers continue to be some of my favourites. Moab produces fine art, photographic, and specialty papers. Each paper is explained in detail on their website. Moab offers free downloadable profiles for your printer and for each and every paper they sell. Utilizing their profiles will deliver the most satisfactory results. 

Moab page describing profiles to start  downloading  and install

Moab page describing profiles to start downloading and install

Legion Papers offers a selection of papers by its application, category, or by name. The Legion Papers website presents the opportunity to select the perfect paper for the proper printing job by responding to a few questions.

 

Legion Papers website page, most of the choices of paper by  applications

Legion Papers website page, most of the choices of paper by applications

Moab Entrada and Lasal Photo papers

Moab Entrada and Lasal Photo papers

After conversations with contacts at Moab Papers, Lasal Photo Matte, a double-sided paper which prints with sharp and vivid images, and Entrada Rag a 100% cotton fine art paper were wonderful finds. Entrada Rag is archival acid, and lignin-free with superb handling and sharpness. It also has an expanded colour gamut, natural contrast, and high ink load. It is compatible with both dye and pigment inks. I chose Entrada Rag for Perception, Guadalupe, and the flags of my flag-book Faux-pas.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Perception on Estrada Rag

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Perception on Estrada Rag

A Day Filled with Onomatopoeias was printed on Kodak Bright White Matte Inkjet Paper. This paper can be purchased from Office Depot, and produces crisp text, vivid colours and is designed for use with most inkjet printers. It can also be used with laser printers. It was ideal for the comic book look I was focused on creating.colours and is designed for use with most inkjet printers. It can also be used with laser printers. It was ideal for the comic book look I was focused on creating.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail of the turkish map fold page of Finding Home on Kodak Bright White Matte Paper, great paper for folds

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail of the turkish map fold page of Finding Home on Kodak Bright White Matte Paper, great paper for folds

Presently, I use primarily Lasal Photo Matte Paper from Moab for my books. It has given me outstanding results for Shadow Me, Finding Home, Conversation, Xtraction, Traverse, and Entre deux. If you're looking for the ideal paper for limited edition books where the prints encounter frequent handling, Lasal Photo is for you. 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, box of Lasal Photo by Moab in the 12 x 13 inches 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, box of Lasal Photo by Moab in the 12 x 13 inches 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Shadow Me on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Shadow Me on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Finding Home on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, detail printed page of Finding Home on Lasal Photo from Moab Papers

I order Moab and Inkpress papers from ITSupplies in Meadows, Illinois and order the Generations Quad from Ink2Image in Glenview, Illinois.

Try these papers and have fun with the results! Let me know what you think.

Grain Direction

This week was busy, especially in my mind, (or should I say on the phone)!

I had an incredible amount of difficulty ordering a box of Moab Lasal Photo by Legion; I wanted to make sure I received the correct paper size and grain. As you know if you are folding paper, then it has to be in the correct grain direction or it’s a mess.

The book’s finished size will be 8.5 x 5.5”. With folds, I need 8.5 x 11” grain short paper for printing with a bleed or 11 x 17” with grain short with lots of white space. Larger size sheets have waste, but I could fold the paper with no breakage. On 13 x 19” with grain long I had the possibility of printing 2 up. The order appeared straightforward, once I figured how to use each size sheet depending on inventory.

I placed my order with a friendly customer service representative. Five days later, the package arrived with incorrect grain direction.

A phone call to IT Supplies elicited a fast apology and a re-order with my instructions on grain direction.

After another five days, the package arrived and my hopes faded when I realized the same paper was shipped. Back on the phone, I find out they had no grain long paper in stock!

I took matters into my own hands and called Moab papers. Seventy-six boxes of grain long were available at the New Jersey warehouse, I was told. Direct shipping from Moab adds $8 to $10 more. No thanks, I will try IT Supplies again!

I tried to explain my dilemma going back and forth with customer service. I need small-sized papers in grain short and larger sheets in grain long. But the smaller sheets were available in grain long and the large sheets were now being cut with grain short! Are you hearing the Twilight Zone theme song yet?

While I spoke with three other distributors, I heard the strangest ideas on how to go about getting the paper I needed. One guy even suggested I purchase several boxes in the hope that one of the packages shipped MIGHT BE with correct grain. Is the paper returnable, I asked. “Yes for a 10% restocking fee.” WHAT! No one in their right mind would do something so stupid. I hoped he never suggested such a solution to another customer!

I searched the internet for different possibilities in the Moab Lasal Photo paper. I discovered that Legion cuts 12 x 13” sheets, not a special order--I hoped. “What grain direction would you like this paper?” was the next interaction. I explained the process of producing books, paper, folding and grain direction.

Another 5 days.

Alleluia! I received my paper, it’s 12 x 13” GRAIN LONG!! Bookmakers know in the situation outlined above that the grain direction does not matter since I can print from either side. ^%$&%$#^%$!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

© 2017 Louise Levergneux

ITSupplies dropped the shipping charges for my troubles (living in hope!). Innocence is bliss, I get what that means. I can start my book now.

New Year, New beginnings!

Celebrating one year of blogging! It’s been a pleasure getting to know all of you through my posts. Thank you for the support.

Major changes are in the air for my 1/2 Measure Studio this year. The reasoning behind my books is on my mind these days. I’m questioning the trajectory of my work. Changing paths is a big moment and one I want to see bring forward movement to my work. 

For now, confusion! Why do this? Why do that? Why be an artist? 

Do you have questions that haunt you as an artist? 

In the last month, I have been working on a new artists’ book—a sequel to my book entitled Beside Me. Beside Me was a wonderful book on teams published in 2005.

How do your books come to life?

Mine usually start with a trip, a thought, an experience... This one started with an emotion.

Completely filled with emotion, my mind started to think of how to create this book and in what format. Thoughts raced through my mind.

Think, re-think, plan, images, dream, re-think, write, view it in my mind’s eye, dream of it, camera in hand, photograph, template, re-think, write, play in Photoshop, design pages, dream, cover? Binding! Think! Choose fonts, discussion, re-think, compose photographs, relate to book Beside Me, write, edit, paper size, size of book, re-design, Edit...

Ideas have gelled, cover and binding chosen. The real work starts and frustrations follow!

I had difficulties in ordering paper with the proper grain direction needed for printing the pages of my book. Was everyone in the companies I called asleep at the switch? After many phone calls, I’m hoping to receive the correct paper. 

Particular companies understand book publishing and grain directions. One of those companies is Moab papers by Legion. They are always happy to talk about the needs of their customers.

What type of difficulties do you run into with paper? Size, grain direction, thickness, durability...

This waiting period is giving me time to conceive the cover and how the new book will flow with the first book Beside Me.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, cover of Standing Alone

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, cover of Standing Alone

I continue working on my files of manhole covers to create eleven new volumes of different cities across the Canadian provinces.

©2016 Louise Levergneux, Saskatchewan manhole covers in Bridge ready to action in Photoshop

©2016 Louise Levergneux, Saskatchewan manhole covers in Bridge ready to action in Photoshop

© 2013 Louise Leverghneux, Hotel Aloft, Minneapolis, MN, April 30, 2013

© 2013 Louise Leverghneux, Hotel Aloft, Minneapolis, MN, April 30, 2013


I hope happiness and prosperity comes your way in 2017!

Dilemmas!

Surprise! Surprise! My new refurbished refurbished Epson R3000 arrived early. Astonished, I was able to unpack the printer, set it up, and print. Oh my God! Epson is finally getting it together—hopefully they have. This R3000 is working well at the moment. Touch wood! It has only been a few hours! 

I printed my manhole covers sheet after sheet. The printer is not noisy and spits out printed sheets with no blotches of ink! I’m back in business!

I haven’t given up printing my own artists’ books; but still thinking of a printing service in the future, will see what this refurbished printer brings.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

I printed 30 sheets of manhole covers in one day with no problem. Alléluia!! 

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

I leave the printed sheets twenty four hours to settle and dry before phase six of the project. This step entails die-cutting the printed manhole covers and collating them.

Throughout my project, and time passing, I’ve had to go with the flow on how to cut, print and present City Shields.

For the first time in sixteen years I’m running short of my packaging of choice for City Shields. My dilemma is finding Iomega Disk Jewel Cases. They are no longer manufactured. If you know of a place I can buy jewel cases for Zip disks, please let me know.  

I had ordered thousands of Iomega jewel cases back in 2000 when they were popular for the original seven volumes of City Shields. The first volumes included a volume of Scotland; three volumes of Ottawa, one volume of Toronto, Ontario; and three volumes of Hull, Québec. Doculink International printed the original volumes and were die-cut by Capitol Box in Ottawa, Ontario.

In 2006, with new camera and new printer, I printed the volumes of the series myself with an Epson 2200. Capitol Box created a cutting jig to cut one manhole cover at a time. Unable to create the correct assembly to use the jig, it caused the paper to tear every time. I bought a Fiskars Circle Cutter from Michaels Arts and Crafts Store. This tool is super easy to use, it only cost $19.99 and works well. The clear plastic base makes alignment easy with no guessing games. Where do you find your tools?

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

This year, I needed to replace a discontinued Aspen paper for the insert. I chose an Inkpress Plus paper. I can still order the Generations G-Chrome Lustre paper to print the manhole covers. How do you cope with discontinued favorite papers? Do you enjoy trying lots of papers? Maybe you print on different paper for your projects and the brand doesn’t matter.

My goal was to collect manhole covers from each Canadian province and the 50 states in the US. Changes and finances are making it impossible to achieve! My project is at its end!

 

Paper and Folds

The snow is gone and the brown colours are back in Avimor. 

© 2015 Louise Levergneux, Avimor warming up.

© 2015 Louise Levergneux, Avimor warming up.

Time is flying by fast and since the start of January, I am knee deep in Tinkercad, typefaces, colours and design for my next artists' book. I thought it best to take a breath and visit the BAM, no, not the Brooklyn Academy of Music but the Boise Art Museum. 

Incredible how acronyms have become part of our language. When I moved to Boise, the locals asked if I had visited the BAM—what’s a BAM? For newcomers trying to figure out the lay of the land these abbreviations said à la queueleuleu, remind me of a song.

BAM BAM ROM MoMA,

CoCA GAM IMA,

MAMbo MASS MoCA,

MIA MICA MOCA,

SAM YAM OCMA

Everyone has danced à la queueleuleu, if not this video explains the term

Oops, I’m digressing!

Last Saturday, at the BAM, I saw the exhibition: Paper: the Infinite Possibilities of Origami. This exhibition explores the history of folding and origami as fine art. The pieces in the show were created by 45 master folders from around the world and showcased the power and potential of contemporary origami. Paper is endless creativity in these artists’ hands. I met Alexandra Monjar a friendly and dedicated docent able to give us lots of information on the exhibited works.

The koi by MichaeI G Lafosse caught my eye. The koi were delicate yet strong. Back at home I could not wait to explore more origami work on the Internet, I’m intrigued.

My search led me to the Swiss artist, Sipho Mabona. Here is a short documentary of Sipho's work. 

The next video is an introduction to Sipho’s project White Elephant–a life-size 3 metre high origami elephant. 

If you have time the 6 part video on White Elephant is worth it even though it takes nearly an hour to watch—all of them! I'm sure you can speed view at times!

WHITE ELEPHANT Part 1 (8:56 min)

WHITE ELEPHANT Part 2 (13:26 min)

 

WHITE ELEPHANT Part 3 (4 min)

WHITE ELEPHANT Part 4 (13:48 min)

WHITE ELEPHANT Part 5 (10:03 min)

WHITE ELEPHANT Part 6 Final (9 min)

 

These videos brought to mind other artists who create with paper. A good friend, mentor and artist, Francois X. Chamberland, gifted me the bible seen below at the end of the eighties. I still regard it as one of my favourite pieces in our home. I tried my hand at folding and never had the patience to continue.

© 1989 François X. Chamberland

© 1989 François X. Chamberland

Canadian artist Cathryn Miller’s altered books are sometimes filled with Froebel stars–a form of origami that combines folding with weaving. Cathryn’s love for paper can be seen in her altered book Universe / Starry, Starry Night inviting you to play and dream.

© 2008 Cathryn Miller, Universe / Starry, Starry Night

© 2008 Cathryn Miller, Universe / Starry, Starry Night

In Cathryn’s Universe: Foundation Trilogy, a series of altered books made from the pages of Life Nature Library volume "The Universe" pays homage to Asimov's iconic science fiction trilogy. The patience to fold several hundred stars for a project is amazing!

© 2012 Cathryn Miller, Universe: Foundation Trilogy

© 2012 Cathryn Miller, Universe: Foundation Trilogy

The Froebel stars make another appearance in Universe / A Hitchhiker's Guide.

© 2008 Cathryn Miller, Universe / A Hitchhiker's Guide

© 2008 Cathryn Miller, Universe / A Hitchhiker's Guide

You can help Cathryn’s The Wishing Star Project by leaving a wish.

While you are busy wishing, I’m going back to my thoughts and 3D printing ! !