Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Things

Before I get to the new toys, make that tools, I have acquired recently I want to invite you to check out all the new paste paper listed on my Etsy site. When you read on you will see why I have been so prolific. It’s the tools!!
It amazes me how long I let myself do things the hard way. All these years I have been working with paper and drying it on every horizontal surface I could find, mostly the floor. All that bending and making sure the paint didn’t get where it shouldn’t. Finally I broke down and bought a paper drying rack. I don’t have space for the big one I wanted so my criteria was that I had to be able to move it around and the shelves had to be flat, not at a slant so if there was a lot of soupy paste on the paper it wouldn’t drip. I decided on a portable table rack thinking I could keep it in the garage and carry it into the studio when I needed it. But it’s a bit heavy for me and awkward to carry so I wound up buying a cute red utility cart from Harbor Freight for it to live on. (The cart is a whole other story.)

Anyway, the whole set-up stays in the studio and it has to because I use it all the time now. The shelves are about an inch apart so getting a wet piece of paper on the shelf is tricky. They are hinged so they lift which makes it easier, but there you are with a wet, limp piece of paper which might take two hands to maneuver. So how to lift the shelf too.

My smart friend, Barbara, came up with hooking a bungee cord on to hold the shelves up so that two hands are enough.

I bought my rack from
It was about $175 with the shipping and it is worth every dollar.

The other tool I bought this year is a tear bar. They call it a draftsman straight edge at (this is a great place to get gorgeous book cloth too) I think has them too.

I think mine is the 36” one. Don’t even ask me why I waited so long to get this wonderful piece of equipment. The beveled edge makes such a nice torn edge on my paper when I tear it down for the pages of a handmade book. I have been using a carpenter’s square for years and it is adequate. But the tear bar is the right tool for the job.
Okay, this last one isn’t a tool, it is paper and a recent addition to stuff I have to have. Mostly I sourced this so that there is a paper that is readily available to my students who want to make paste paper at home. It isn’t as heavy as what I usually use but it works fine. It doesn’t have as much wet strength as the Superfine #100 I use but if you don’t work it to the point that it weakens and tears I think you will be happy with it. And it is inexpensive. It is Utrecht drawing paper, #70, 12” x 18” and comes in a pack of 100 sheets for $10.99.
Winter is on the way and it is a great time to get into your workroom and dive into all those art supplies you had to have but never used. Invite a friend over and share the bounty. Enjoy the freedom and play.


Diane O. said...

Who doesn't love to by fun but practical toys. Hope these new items continue to allow you to make more cool stuff.

Happy Holidays

dewatobay said...

Thanks for all the good sharing.