The Paper Shuffle - Part Four - Rough Justice

on January 18, 2017
Life is not all smooth and sleek in Dassel, Lower Saxony, and neither is it in the Hahnemühle factory. At least not in the division that makes the Matt Fine Art - Textured inkjet paper.

I don't know if the firm chops down chunkier trees or employs rougher workmen, but the results have a rugged charm all their own. Prepare to pick your way through a plowed field of paper. Mind your ankles.

Holy Moley, Batman...that is one rough surface. A definite lay and pattern to the Albrecht Dürer and enough texture to break any image into a pastel drawing effect.

Okay, if Dürer was a German artist who made etchings düring* the Renaissance, who was Torchon? And why did he draw on something that looks like the side of a barn? Turns out a torchon is a French tea-towel, which explains this surface perfectly. Is it too silly to suggest that you should print pictures of French food on this paper?

German Etching suggests monochrome images with sharp delineation and serious subjects. My experience with it was tempered by bad language and the realization that paper has a mind of its own - a mind that can be changed by heat and humidity. It can also be bent into shape to counteract these tendencies.

William Turner was a Romanticist landscape painter and I am wondering if the naming of this paper may unconsciously lead to photographers utilizing it for images that feature rain, steam, and speed. Will they be committing images to preset plug-ins with brush strokes. Will they turn the Gaussian blur up to 139? Of course we will...

Museum Etching is similar to German Etching but not quite as edgy. If you print a fair amount of your output on this paper - and it is available in quite large sheets - you can invite girls up to see your etchings. I did, and it just shows you what my social life is like. They came up and wanted to see etchings...

There is no disguising the cloth pattern evident in the Monet Canvas sheets - it would be an ideal choice for the sort of art image that one wraps around wooden frames for wall display. Hahnemühle themselves make kits to allow this sort of thing to be done. The kits are very good value and if you can put good colourful images on them you can sell them for a good price. Then you'll be in the Monet...

Not every image suits a rough surface, and not every printer will handle these papers. You need one that can be set so that the paper moves in and out of it on a straight, flat line. You may need to bend or steam the papers to get them to obey. But the artistic effect on the right image is magical...and when you get the trick operating right you can produce print after print the same way.

* I cannot be fürtive about it. I like the ümlaut key. It's fün to üse...