Journaling With Arches Text Wove: Part I

Arches Text Wove is a wonderful sheet of paper. Mouldmade from 100 percent cotton, the sheet is smooth, soft, and sturdy. “Mouldmade” means that each sheet is made using a slowly rotating form dipping into a vat with the paper fibers. It is a mechanical process that results in large sheets with four deckled (rough, untrimmed) edges.  (Learn how to make your own decked edges.) It has the consistency of machine made paper with the personality of handmade paper, complete with a watermark.

Deckle-edge paper. Image: MyWingsBooks, edge trims

Arches Text Wove (now called Velin) is a creamy paper with a good thickness. I love it for journals because it stands up to heavy multi-media abuse and still looks wonderful.

I once made a sample accordion-fold journal, put it in my pants pocket and forgot it. The pants went through the washer and dryer. You’ve seen the lint mess that creates. Not with Arches Text Wove. The journal was intact in the pocket, still slightly damp. I unfolded it, ironed it, and it looked like the day I made it. That’s the kind of abuse this paper will take. It’s good for printmaking, bookmaking, painting, pastels, and sewing.

Lately I’ve been playing with new ideas for map making. I’ve done some experimenting with color, but this time I wanted to make a map that had more lines for roads and trails.

Using a quarter sheet of Arches Text Wove (about 8.5 x 11 inches), I wet the paper under a faucet and then crumpled it. I squeezed it tightly in my fist to set the wrinkles and drain the water. Then I opened it carefully and dropped black India Ink in four places on the sheet. I let the ink sit for a minute, then added a spritz of black dye. The dye is made of a very dark purple, so it showed as a reddish background after a thorough rinsing. You can see the front of the sheet below:

Ink drops on wet wrinkled Arches Text Wove, front

It looks just right for metro centers on a map. The reverse of the same piece is also interesting:

Ink drop experiment, reverse of sheet.

This looks like a map of smaller towns, or a strong wind in a dandelion field. To set the color, I ironed the sheet with a hot iron. While I liked this result, I was curious to see what would happen if I repeated the procedure. I wet the page, crumpled it up in my hand and repeated the ink drops. Below is the front of the added ink:

Second application of ink, rinsed. Front of page

This looked a little murky to me, but with a little pen work, it might look like a topographical map with roads also marked in. Here’s the back of the same page:

Back of second inking sheet.

On this second try, I also added some of the black dye on the back. Again, I like it, but for map work, I think less ink is more effective.

Arches Text Wove also takes color extremely well. Below, I used re-inkers for stamp pads diluted with water and sprayed onto the paper. About 20 drops to 2 teaspoons of distilled water.

Arches Text Wove sprayed with stamp-pad re-inking dye.

I used these papers for another project (you’ll see it in a few days). Having purchased Radiant Rain sprays, I had to try them. Radiant Rain is a spray dye made with a good deal of mica flakes, so there is a lot of shimmer. I’m not a big shimmer fan, but sometimes restraint has to go out the window, and you have to try shimmery, glittery colors. Here’s the vivid result of Radiant Rain sprayed over ink:

Radiant Rain sprayed over ink on Arches Text Wove.

The sparkle doesn’t show up in the scan, but it is very prominent on the paper. Because the mica will clog the sprays, I decant a small amount of the well-shaken liquid into a small mister bottle, use as much as I need, and pour the unused portion back into the bottle, then clean the mister bottle. Much less waste than cleaning the larger spray bottle.
You can purchase Arches Text Wove at Daniel Smith or Hollander’s websites.

You can see what happened to the papers and how I used them in my journal in Part II of this post, on March 21, 2011.

–Quinn McDonald is a raw art journaler who makes her own journals. Her book, Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art will be published by North Light Books in July of 2011.