After a bit of experimentation I have finally settled on the ideal paper for printing Oystercatchers.
I started with a slightly textured 250gms BFK Rives in the hope of an embossed effect to set off the jet black birds and surf. I anticipated that because the areas of relief were relatively small the pressure from my nipping press would be enough to create a good impression on this heavier paper. I was wrong, although small they are rather spread out and about 4 sheets down the line I realised it was an expensive mistake.
Next I tried my usual favourite, a nice crisp smooth white 140gms Zerkall printing paper. I achieved a couple of good prints, but it was hard work and after a few failures I gave up with this.
I then decided to try the lighter end of the paper chain and a dug out a whisper thin sheet of gampi tissue that I had been hoarding for a while. This takes the ink like a dream, I barely had to touch it let alone apply any pressure but tissue has a tendency to wrinkle as it wafts down onto the ink, which distorts the print. I was really pleased to see a possible solution to this problem on Elizabeth Banfield’s blog and I’ll be trying this out soon. Meanwhile I’ve stashed away the few good tissue prints with a plan to mount them on some whitewashed plywood board.
Back to producing a decent edition on paper, in the end I stumbled across a good crisp & white 70gms paper which suits this particular print perfectly. It was a chance buy, informed by price and weight rather than any pre-knowledge of the product, which is all part of the fun of buying materials online!
Oystercatchers on Inbe Epais, www.intaglioprintmaker.co.uk