Here's a nice story of social media meeting the world of the hand-made....
I'm always on the look out for nice paper and take a good deal of trouble to always choose and use the right paper - the right colour, the right weight, and almost above all the right surface, (Hot Press, Not or Rough,) for the job. So earlier this year on a little trip to Paris, making the pilgrimage to my favourite art shop, Sennelier on the Quai Voltaire, I picked up some packets of Aquari hand-made paper - a make I hadn't seen before. Back at home they sat in the plans chest for a few months until I got round to trying them out on the Winter Moth series and then, a little later, printing on them. Lovely stuff. Beautifully surfaced with a cold press and hardly sized, for printing in particular it is really quite special. But...I only had a few packets and it seems you can't buy it in England.
Posting an image of one of the prints on my Facebook page, I stated as always the paper make and weight etc. and didn't think much more about it...I'd pick up some more next time I was in Paris.
Then a few weeks later something quite amazing happened. A man called Toni Sarda joined the FB page and then sent me a message saying that he worked at Aquari, loved my work and that they would be delighted to ship me more of the paper. Even offering to make bespoke paper of specific sizes and shapes to order! It would seem even Facebook can be beautiful! And the internet is truly amazing.
Two weeks, several e-mails and some hysterical translations later and this arrives: delicious, pristine packets of hand-made paper from the tiny mill in Catalunya, Northern Spain, that is Aquari. With the paper came the promise from the owner that they would keep in touch and that they are "here for you when you need us". The whole transaction had been done on trust; the day I sent the money, they sent the paper - and with it seemed to come a little Spanish sunshine to warm the cold English summer.
I celebrated the new paper by printing a new bee....
And this fellow, a short-tailed field vole
For the makers and printers among you - do check out their website. (Make sure you look through the images gallery too.)