On Friday, a small group were given a days workshop by Alan Buchanan a regular tutor for the MA. He designed the suction table and pioneers the paper pulp infilling technique (to sell his suction tables apparently!)
I really really enjoyed the day and I felt totally inspired by conservation again. It was fantastic to learn a new and usable technique. The process was good fun, and simple to use, as the quantities of colour and pulp are worked out accurately and mathematically, leaving little margin for error.
Alan was a wonderful tutor, wowing us with the projects he has completed with this technique and he was very informative and happy to help correct any mistakes.
The technique itself I am dubious about, for flat paper it certainly would be possible, but for books less so, as the pulp tends to be laid on quite thick. And even if the colour matches up from a distance, up close the red, blue and yellow fibres are really visible and doesn’t look fantastic, and as always – mixing 3 primary colours in a blender, it’s difficult to find a perfect match just by eye.
Even though I might not be using this technique for book conservation, learning how to make small sheets of paper from pulp was very useful, and I think many of this years Christmas cards will be made on the suction table!