Artists and photographers are highly sensitive to the subtle differences between diffferent papers. The deep saturation and contrast of glossy papers are universally admired but the reflections bother many. Semi-matt, satin and pearl paper provide relief from the reflection but come in almost infinite grades of sheen. Matt papers until recently were dull in comparison but new coatings have improved saturation and contrast dramatically. Heavily textured papers are beloved by some but others want little tooth or no surface at all. Metallics remain polular but in reality don’t work for all images. So every paper has a ciombination of qualities that give it a distinct personality and performance whilst providing a unique look that can greatly enhance or detract from the image printed on it.
Ilford a UK company with a 140 year history in the manufacture of photographic plates, papers and chemicals have re-invented themselves for the digital age. One of their early ink-jet products the widely admired Gold Fibre Silk launched another class of papers Barytas that revisited the classic fibre-based photographic papers of darkroom printing.
Awagami in Japan has been run by seven generations of the Fujimori family making traditional washi paper that has been used in everything from Shoji screens and Japanese fans to documents and art. They lead the way with their AJIP digital washi papers that bring traditional Japanese papers into the current era. Their Kozo thick and Kozo thin are classic washi but they innovate with other materials in their Inbe, Murakumo and Bamboo papers. Awagami Bizan is the only handmade digital paper available.
At Skink Ink we have a background in photography but also in traditional fine art print-making. One that informs our practice and allows us to draw on multiple strands of our training and experience. The art and the science, craft and industry, traditonal and innovative forces that shape how we go about our printing. The world is in flux yet some things will never change. Important things such as the need for quality and certainty. Things that come only with time and experience.