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  • Writer's pictureKarin Mansberg

Sustainable Print-Maker

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

The story behind my print “Denim” starts when I was looking for new printmaking paper made (locally) in the USA. There are some traditional printmaking papers from Japan and Europe that I have printed on, but I was curious to try out something different. Mohawk paper company, located in New York state manufactures its papers in the mills across USA. They sent me some samples. Their Renewal series includes papers made from partially recycled natural materials like hemp, straw, denim thread, and cotton t-shirts.

Straw Renewal paper is processed by Columbia Pulp, LLC in Eastern Washington and contains wood pulp and 30% of straw. I hand pulled a relief print with Renewal Straw Rough, Harvest White, 140 cover paper. Paper has visible texture, slightly smooth surface, takes ink well and I would use it again. In the same paper family there is also Rough, Wheat, 120 cover paper, its color is deep warm almost golden dark yellow. However, the surface of the paper was too slick for hand pulling relief prints; the ink sat on the surface rather than sinking into fibers, and occasionally I did not get a clear print due to the slick surface.

There is abundance of textile waste waiting to be reused, recycled - I am glad I took a chance on Mohawk’s recycled cotton papers: Renewal T-Shirt White and Denim. In fact, the paper made of denim inspired my newest print honoring sustainable makers and fashion designers who choose upcycling, mending, recycling as their main practice.

Mohawk’s recycled cotton papers worked really well for hand pulling relief prints.

Lastly, Renewal Hemp paper in Flower color is warm green, beautiful - I ordered envelopes made with the paper.

All in all, I am glad to have found nice quality, sustainable, locally made paper for my printmaking and card making purposes.

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