If you have been in the book arts world even for the smallest amount of time, you have probably seen an array of paste paper and paste cloth. It is a great decoration technique that gives the artist complete customizing ability with color and design. This is a material that I revisit often because of all of its benefits because its only limit is your imagination. I was first introduced to the wonders of paste cloth and its potential by Martha Cole during her presentation at the 2008 Guild of Book Workers Standards of Excellence. Her work is absolutely stunning in the way that she employs layers of color and sewn on designs in her artist books.
One short search in a web browser and you will stumble upon loads of recipes for paste. The instructions for making paste papers are a little harder to find online, but a great one is given by Lili’s Bookbinding Blog. Paste cloth is much harder to find. It varies only slightly from paste papers. Most bookbinding books include paste recipes, some are devoted completely to paste paper, and I am sure there are some out there that refer to paste cloth. (Feel free to contact me if your search comes up empty).
This past week, as well as the week before, I have met several times with my friend and colleague H. We came together to learn the technique, and once we got comfortable, we couldn’t stop ourselves. I have to admit…some of the papers and cloths we made were pretty wonderful! A few of these will be used in an upcoming Japanese Bookbinding workshop (details soon to come) so some of them were created with a book in mind.
If you have favorite paste cloth/paper of your own, I would love to see them!