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Kozo and Other Japanese Papers

Kozo paper is made from the pulp of a tree that grows in eastern Asia; Broussonetia papyrifera, a Mulberry tree. The kozo fibres are considered to be extremely strong and a traditional part of many Japanese papers.

Traditional papers such as kozo are often a substrate for printmaking and sumi; yet, kozo and other Japanese papers are excellent for encaustic monotypes and other encaustic techniques.

When making encaustic monotypes on light weight paper like kozo, remember not to load it up with to much wax. The more wax built-up the more likely the surface will suffer from cracking and chipping. The goal of a monotype is not to build up a surface with thick/textured layers, rather visual layers; it is easy to forget and overload your print.

Monotypes made with kozo give a very different look than heavier papers such as watercolor paper; the paint soaks in rather than sitting on the surface. The ability to soak through the paper give you a choice to reverse your paper displaying it from either side. You might wonder why this would matter, the side up, as the paper is laying on the palette creates a different look than the side facing down.

Kozo and many other thin papers will turn semi-transparent when impregnated with beeswax or encaustic medium. This technique works well for printing and writing on the paper prior and then collaging back into your encaustic piece.

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Revisiting old topics and filling in holes is quite a chore, yet a necessary one, one that will offer more quality information. For example: recent activity and questions surrounding hardboard and/or masonite, has directed our attention to fill in the blanks on that topic (currently under revision/addition), as well as, more about gesso (specifically encaustic gesso) and other topics (search the tabs), all are in the works. 

Prior years were to get as much general information as possible up and available- a starting point. More and more however, new topics are focused and detailed, and old ones will be getting revisiting; removing any possibility of confusion. 

I should point out that this is a one person operation (takes me awhile to get around to everything, ohh yeah, I should make some art), Anyway, where was I?, oh! one person operation..., even though I tend to refer in posts and topics as we, it is to remove the need to revisit things later when it really is we. All of this whilst working, making art, and whatever may be the case.

As always, I welcome any opinions, comments, and questions- simply contact me.

Thank you
Jonathan Parks