Painted papers

  My favorite paper has excellent properties for folding but it only comes in a few colors: black, white, and few shades of gray and brown. Fortunately, some of the characteristics that make it great for the my style of folding – its strength, its surface, consistent texture and its ability to accept moisture without much distortion, make it great for painting and dyeing as well. Now I’m pretty good at folding paper, but my wife is a genius at color.

   She has tried some new techniques for enlivening the rather blah papers that I like to fold. You can see some of the results in my latest mask, Alberich.

       The technique is very interesting: she mixed water-based paints with dish detergent and water and used a drinking straw to blow bubbles into the mix to get a nice bubbly foam. She then scooped of some of the foam and plopped it onto paper (I got to help. It was fun!). When it dries, the paint is deposited in a fine tracery that looks kind of like the veins in stone. 

The effect can be as subtle or as dramatic as you want. This is off-white paper with black and green paint.

This is black paper with metallic paints. The precreasing is done and it’s ready to be folded into…something.

 In person, the colors are more subdued than they appear in the photograph. The paints are rather irridescent, so they flash at certain angles. I think it will look wonderful as a mask.

8 thoughts on “Painted papers

  1. It’s “elephant hide” paper, or “elefantenhaut” produced by Zanders in Germany. It is sometimes marketed in the U.S. as Wyndstone Marble. It’s not an origami paper, per se, but produced for bookbinding, so it’s a heavier paper but it holds a crease well. I began using it almost ten years ago and at that time it was possible to obtain in the U.S. in a wide pallette of colors. There may be other papers with the same characteristics I could use; I’ve just become accustomed to this particular paper.


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  3. Pingback: Papel, pintura, agua y jabón | Fedrigoni Club

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