The paper of ever greater variety and reinforcement.

The history of papermaking was discovered by the Chinese. Paper is made from plant fibers, beaten to a pulp, mixed with water, then spread in a thin layer over a fine mesh surface and left to dry. All paper was handmade until the nineteenth century. To produce uniform sheets by hand, a mold is used- imagine a rectangle of wire or a bamboo mesh attached to a wooden frame to form a shallow tray. The mold is dipped into a vat of thinned pulp, then lifted out, carrying with it a very fine layer of fibers. Before it can receive painting or write with ink, the paper must be sized, treated with a substance such as starch or glue to make it less absorbent otherwise it acts as a blotter.  Knowledge of papermaking was transmitted in this way to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. As Islam expanded into Central Asia during the eighth century, Muslims, too, came into contact with China and Buddhism. Over the ensuing centuries, Asian and Muslim papermakers made enormous strides, learning to make paper of ever greater variety and reinforcement. Their long centuries of contact can be seen in the pages reproduced here. Tinted blue, sprinkled with gold, and painted with a gold landscape, the paper was made in China. It was probably sent by the fifthteenth century Chinese emperor as a gift to the ruler of Iran, who in turn presented it to the famous calligrapher Sultan-Ali Qaini, who used it for manuscript of Persian poems.  The Greeks custom of drawing was on pottery. (Fig. #14.23. Andokides and the Andokides Painter.” Amphora with gymnasium scene.) The Greeks also drew and wrote on papyrus, paper like material developed in Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Chinese drew on silk and many chinese artist still do today. It is the Chinese who credited with invention of paper.It was not until the fourteenth century that the word paper finally entered the English language. In southern France and Spain some engraved on the cave walls with a hard stone or charcoal. Paper’s advantages is that it is a more convenient access for art in general. Fig. # 6.7 Yvonne Jacquette. Three Mile Island NIght I. 1982. Three ways paper is used for 20th-21st Century art-making beside drawing are newspapers, magazines, and posters of advertisement. Others are collages, (Fig. # 6.14 Romare Bearden. Mysteries. 1964.) and tissue paper such a papel picado, (Fig. # 6.16 Mona Hatoum. Untitled. 2009). Today many artist have a wide range for drawing surfaces now to choose from. Some material distinguished from culture. All in all, paper is the most common drawing surfaces but has become a medium all on its own.


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