Tuesday, April 05, 2016

UPDATE: Fabriano Paper

Two notable things have happened since my last blog post (Fabriano, R K Burt and St Cuthberts Mill - and fine art watercolour paper for precision painting) about innovation and change within the world of Fine Art Hot Press paper used by watercolour painters who paint plants and flowers to botanical standards. .

Systematic tests of watercolour paper

The first is that yesterday Dianne Sutherland published an extremely helpful blog post - Paper Matters: St Cuthbert Mill vs Fabriano.

As I wrote yesterday
It covers:
  • various types and weights of paper produced by Fabriano (in Italy) and St Cuthberts Mill (in the UK).
  • systematic and structured tests involving the various techniques used by botanical artists - as you can see from some of the samples in the image below
  • a well-informed and well balanced commentary by Dianne who is a very experienced botanical artist and teacher.
Dianne Sutherland's blog post
I should also emphasise that we're also beginning to see other artists try the new papers and commenting on the results via the Botanical Artists group on Facebook.

The Fabriano Response

The second is that today I received a letter by email from the Marketing Director of Fabriano.  In it he:
  • explains the changes made recently - and indicates an acknowledgement that maybe the changes that artists have detected are ones that might not be picked up my their machines which measure continuously for quality control purposes
  • makes a very generous offer of wanting to know more about what artists have experienced and offering to come and watch artists work on the paper and explain what sort of problems they have experienced. 

So this is all really GOOD NEWS!

I've attached an image of the letter so you can all read it. I close cropped the letter to make it easier to reproduce. You'll need to right click and open in a new tab if you want to be able to read the larger version more easily.

I'm now convinced they want to know so we need to show them!

Now I just need to work out - with Dianne and other botanical artists who are interested parties - how we can demonstrate what has been happening to the Fabriano people so they can see for themselves.

One option might be to set up a Special Group on Facebook to which people could contribute a narrative and/or videos and/or photos of their experiences and problems with the paper of late.  That might lend itself to a virtual meeting with Fabriano if the logistics of getting everybody in the same place were to prove too difficult.

Anybody interested in meeting up with the Fabriano people please
  • either leave a comment below 
  • or contact me personally via the Botanical Artists Group on Facebook 
  • or contact me via my email address (see contact me in side column).