Pulp painting and stencils are becoming contributors to how I make images, particularly the artist book I've been working on for the past few years, Future Tense (which is almost finished!) While making the final sheet of handmade paper for the book, I used a technique I called bokashi pulp painting.
Bokashi is a actually a term for a technique in moku hanga, known in the US sometimes as Japanese woodblock printmaking. It means a gradation of color. In homage to this technique, I have appropriated this term for a similar effect.
To achieve this effect, pulp paint is suspended in a vat of water. I don't use any formation aid for this, and I'm not sure that it would actually be helpful. The mold - without the deckle, is then dipped at a angle so that the pulp paint slides up the mold. The mold is not fully immersed, some sections remain above the surface of the water. You can see the pulp collected on the mold above.
Being pulp paint, the fibers collected in a bokashi pull are to fine to have their own integrity as paper, so they must be couched on top of base sheet - see above. Please note that the base sheet was pulled previously to pulling the bokashi pull.
It's difficult to see in the photo above, but the light blue transitions just barely, having slightly more pulp at the bottom of the paper. Also notable is the soft, watery edge of the pulp midway up the paper.
(I can't take credit for inventing this technique - back when I was TA'ing Papermaking at UArts, I remember one of my students, Danae, coming up with it, and just falling in love. So if she ever reads this - thank you!)
To contrast this delicacy, part of the print has a hard edge stencil. Below, the mold with the stencil on, and the remaining pulp after carefully peeling the stencil off.
For stencil sheets, I use foam sheets like these. Some artists use dendril or a thin vinyl material, I prefer the sturdiness of these. They also hold up great for re-use.
Below, the stencil couched on top of the bokashi pull.
The imagery didn't stop there - I continue to print on these paper. Here, after three layers of ink - two more to go! (Soooo close to finishing this book!)