Dear Everyone ~
I'm delighted to herald the arrival of our inaugural order from Saint-Armand Papermakers
in Saint-Armand, Quebec. Handsome pads are now stocked in two sizes and three colours,
all with a sumptuous natural deckle along the bottom edge.
The smaller pad is 6 x 6; the larger is 9 x 10. The papers are made from tee-shirt
and denim trimmings, with no chemicals at all. They feel as fabric-like as paper can get!
A couple of papery connoisseurs—Janet and Tom—have already enjoyed
experimenting on the Saint-Armand and shared their delight.
Janet—retired English teacher, avid knitter, and watercolour enthusiast—
has shown me some of her new drawings and paintings. She remarked,
"I like its tooth and its heft. The paper's texture is not simply visual.
I'm really aware that I'm painting on Paper with a capital P."
She added "It seems a bit more absorbent than cold press paper,
or at least the watercolour lies on it somewhat differently.
I'd say the colour almost blooms a bit. In fact, my fountain pen also bled a little.
The lines thickened slightly, but I don't see this as a negative—
it somehow adds to the drawing's personality."
Tom, a lifelong artist, "sketched" (as he calls it) in gouache on the Saint-Armand,
and technically but charmingly described its many pleasures:
"the supple thickness," "the attendant absorbency," "the consequent variegated bleed,"
and "such luxurious paper for the likes of me!" He rhapsodized,
"As with all things let's not stint ourselves and others
and make the correct choice."
For the curious: These sketches are Tom's preliminary vision
for an upcoming installation (March 30!) to celebrate
the 40th season of Links Hall.
* * * * *
I couldn't resist buying an assortment of handmade papers from Saint-Armand
for my own bookbinding ecstasy. I agonized (only briefly) over the 32 colour choices,
settling on these four: mineral green, pale blue, plummy eggplant,
and subdued chartreuse. I taught a private limp-vellum binding class last week;
my student selected the mineral green for her cover.
And, I've already used the pale blue as the cover for a long-stitch binding.
If you're able to come by, please take a few moments to see—and touch—
the glorious samples we've received of the other colours.