Prudent Paper Samples

While researching decorative paper processes for the tentatively titled Decorated Paper, the next book by Claudia Cohen and Barbara Hodgson, Barbara has been experimenting with Japanese ink marbling, known as suminagashi.

In the course of her experiments, she discovered that there were so many options with papers and inks, that it would be prudent to make the trial samples as small as possible. A microscope slide box (2.75 x 3.5 inches) made an ideal tray to hold the water and inks.

So far, some 300 small sheets (2.5 x 3-inches) of gampi, mulberry, kozo, hosho, yatsuo, Guarro, Rives, and more have been marbled with Boku-Undo marbling dyes and Royal, sumi, Chunghwa and Kohinoor inks. The photographs here show the marbling of rice paper with sumi ink.

Similar in scope and presentation to Cutting Paper, Decorated Paper will be a historical survey of techniques used around the world to create patterns and designs on paper. The book will contain brief essays with background and technical details on each method, accompanied by a wealth of samples, some original, some created specifically for this book. As per usual for their collaborations, the amount of handwork required to complete each copy will limit the edition to somehwere between 30 and 40 copies. Publication is scheduled for early 2015.

In the meantime, as a sort of precis, the duo will be issuing a miniature sample book of Barbara's suminagashi trials with notations as to medium and paper. Details to follow. The edition will be only 12 copies, each with 15 full-size suminagashi samples, printed letterpress and bound by Claudia. For this fall.


David Clifford, who has printed several of the Barbara/Claudia books, was featured in a short video last week posted by the Vancouver Sun.