TXPaper

Fine Handmade Art Paper, cards, prints, made in the USA

Austin, Texas · 24 Sales

Announcement   Archival art paper for charcoal and pastel, greeting cards, letterpress print re-editions on handmade paper, get a $1 sample, and CLEARANCE items at 50% off or more, irregulars/assorted sets 75% off!

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Last updated on Mar 13, 2018

Archival art paper for charcoal and pastel, greeting cards, letterpress print re-editions on handmade paper, get a $1 sample, and CLEARANCE items at 50% off or more, irregulars/assorted sets 75% off!

Yama Plosb

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Yama Plosb

About

Good prints need good paper...

To make good prints you need good paper. And good tools. And skill.

I really, really love engravings that are a few hundred years old. Of course I have very few of those, so, what to do? Make some! Just like they did it back then, but use technology where it doesn't get in the way of the handmade.

What I share is what I want: prints that have the right feel that only handmade paper can give, and that sort of relief, embossed texture of real block print in a real press. Something that takes you back to "being there", when paper and ink were a craft.
This is no giclée (fancy name for inkjet print). Definitely this is not modern lithography (fancy name for offset), which is what most "reproductions" are. My prints come from solid engraved blocks, inked by hand, set in a top press (aka Gutenberg press), where each print gets its own time. On neutral paper that I made myself, alkaline-buffered, 100% cotton, of quality corresponding to "permanent" or "archival" standards.

why so cheap? simple: I need to make some money ASAP.

Prices will go up to normal very soon.
Long story short, I have been working at this 6 months already, only now finally ready to sell. If you like this kind and style of prints you know very well already that prices for something of this genre, even industrial reproductions, go for more to much more (I have not seen a reproduction of this quality offered in the internet for less than $600). I am betting that maybe someone will buy everything that I have right now, to resell to decorators of fancy doctor's offices.
Fine by me, I will then be able to catch my breath.

How much are these worth?

Search "replica of antique engraving", and you tell me.

Then we have the dimensional, high relief, 3D champ levé art, which I sort of fell into by accident, when, who knows why, I laid a freshly formed sheet of paper on an engraved block. When the paper dried, the image looked fabulous, visible light and shadow of a seemingly carved surface, alive in different ways depending on the angle of the light. But these take too much work, too much time. Generally I can use an engraved plate only once a day. Alas, people understand the "value" of prints, champ levé art is too innovative to have a market yet. Maybe when I am famous :-)

(Note August 29 2016: I will stop editing this for now, it's getting too long and I need to start selling. so, if you have any question, please contact me)

My story:

About 4 years ago I started in earnest to make prints, intending to pick up from years of experience with ink and paper, focusing on making reproductions of late medieval and other antique art. I felt quite frustrated by the cost of paper - everything else was sort of working fine, but those prints on the art shop paper that I could afford simply "didn't feel right". I dropped the idea, got into other businesses of which some worked a little, most didn't, and then by late 2015 I was again going for my printing press. Again it seemed like this wasn't going to work after all, the cost of good paper would eat any profit I could make, when I had the bright idea, what if I make my own paper?

Well, it turns out that making REALLY good paper (nothing else would do for what I wanted) is very much not easy. Not cheap either. Took me several months to figure things out. Then I got stuck with success. See, in moving along I had figured out some serious improvement on the ways and tools for handmade paper. So I "had" to apply for a patent. Until I had my paperwork done I could only sell the paper I made before those inventions, which wasn't much. Now the application is finally in, so I can make excellent paper and sell it, and I can use that excellent paper to make prints.

Because I can afford to have that top-quality support for my prints, everybody wins. Great affordable reproductions that feel like the real thing. BTW, the art is public domain, meaning, yes, you can copy the prints in any way you want, legally, no need to ask me or anyone for permission. Things are a little bit more complicated for the 3D artwork, just contact me if you want to copy those.

Are these real? are they fakes of antiques?

If you mean, are my Chronicles of Nuremberg prints just like the original, the answer is no, but "almost". The printing process is pretty much the same that was used in 1493. Thus the result is almost too good... The dimensions are as close as I have found to those of the first edition, because I really have no access to the originals they are not "exact duplicates".

Are they, then, "fakes"? Definitely NOT. My paper is good, but it is "woven", not "medieval laid". That is, it looks like paper made after 1750 or so. No honest antique dealer or collector who knows paper could possibly get confused or try to confuse others. However, behind a glass and hanging on a wall, these look almost as if you had a time machine - or too much money for your own good, getting a page from an ancient book. Yes, they are real block prints. Some people say that they look "too new". What you receive generally looks as if it had come out of Anton Koberger's shop a few weeks ago (except if you look closely at the paper and notice it's not laid paper). I don't like to artificially "age" my stuff. If you like that kind of look, be my guest and pour some coffee or Cocacola on them.

Woven, medieval laid? what is that?
It has to do with the kind of mould screen that is used to manufacture paper. Older paper was made on a screen with long wires. in the 1700s some began to use a woven screen that looks like fabric. That is what I use. It's very easy to recognize one type of paper from the other if you know what to look for, just search the internet for "laid paper". It makes no difference for the print. A laid screen of the size that I need would cost more than $3,000. I'll get there eventually, and then probably use a watermark with the year or something to discourage people reselling them as "authentic". Otherwise it will look too much like the original to be safe... Please, do not try to sell these as real antiques. They are not. I know you could cut away the signature and embossing. Please don't (it's quite OK to cover them when framing, though, if you want). Think of these instead as what they really are: totally real 21st century block print art made by hand on real Texan handmade paper. That by itself makes them quite rare! These are better than any facsimile that I know of done during the last 200 years.

And at least for now, cheap cheap cheap.

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Last updated on Mar 5, 2017
Frequently asked questions
Dimensions, with or without deckle edge

Handmade paper that has not been trimmed to size has somewhat irregular "deckle edges" on all four sides. The art piece dimensions are not "precise", but include those deckle edges.
In the grand old days fancy quality paper was trimmed. In our times the rustic look is favored, handmade paper looks more "real" and fancy when uncut. This all could be a bit of a complication when framing, often a mat frame is meant to cover the edges of a picture, what to do if instead you want to display those edges? There is no "standard" answer, but if this is a concern to you, on request I can provide also the dimensions of the printed or high relief part, what you would want to display even if the deckle edges themselves were covered.

Laid paper, laid moulds. Laid paper has a structure of tiny ribs between coarser lines

An elegant, classy laid pattern is almost invisible, noticed well only by with a light behind the paper or from a side.

Industrial laid paper is very aggressive and deep. Gauche. Looks cool, but it feels a bit like someone is trying too hard. Alas, to many, that's all they know, so let's not be too hard on them.

Papermakers have always made an effort to offer paper that is uniform, thin, strong, still the qualities of the best handmade paper. Innovation was all about improving on those.

Today's industrial paper is almost "perfect". No irregularities, VERY uniform.

That is, essentially lifeless.

To many, it's the slight unevenness what makes handmade desirable. Spells h.u.m.a.n.

Medieval, Ancient, Modern laid? which one?

Papermaker tools become more reliable as time passes. The earliest were more irregular.

The "medieval laid" laid pattern has some irregular spacing between wire lines. The chain lines not always parallel, with shadows on both sides.

"Antique laid" has more precise, very square line patterns, still with chain line shadows. Some people call all paper with shadows "antique", making no difference for "medieval". Say 1500 AD and later.

"Modern laid" has no shadows, is much more regular. Not common before about 1820 AD.

While I also offer "modern", my heart goes to GOOD "medieval", good meaning reasonably thin paper with uniform SURFACE, the laid pattern being elegantly irregular, but discrete, visible with backlight.