I might have mentioned around here that I'm making a book. I am blissfully so close to never saying a word about this book again (apart from shouting, "I'm done!" Almost, that is. Just about). But I am excited to report back about one new technique I used in the process of making this book: waxing paper. My book consists of alternating folios of western and Japanese papers (I used Kitakata), and I wanted the Japanese sheets to have a nice translucency to them so that there was a lot of interplay between the two papers as the book is paged through. Waxing paper is by no means a novel business in the book arts world, and even though I adore the effect, I had always assumed it would be complicated and difficult, so I had never given it a try. Turns out, it's really not hard at all. Just a little monotonous, perhaps, if you have to do it 120 times. As a total novice at this, I'd love to hear thoughts or feedback from anyone out there more familiar with the process, but here's what I did: I first attempted this using a double boiler, but the process of brushing wax that quickly hardened onto the paper was slow and a little cumbersome, so a friend at the Center offered to let me use her waxing griddle instead. That's right -- she has her own griddle dedicated to this technique, and with any luck at garage sales this summer, I'll have my own soon, too. I started with filtered beeswax pellets, set the griddle on warm, used a brush to spread the wax across the griddle, and then laid the paper into the griddle like so: I loved seeing the little wax circles spread up the paper. It was a beautiful thing to behold. After the sheet was adequately saturated with wax, I laid it on clean newsprint... folded the newsprint over, and ironed to get excess wax out of the sheet. Then you just pull it out and inspect the overall color and tone for any uneven patches and into the stack it goes! The natural Kitakata develops such a lovely, warm tone when waxed -- almost antique. I am thrilled by the results, so you can bet I'll be repeating this again in the future -- just as soon as I find myself a griddle! P.S. The "d" looks fuzzy because, well, it is. But that part of the sheet later got cut off, so all is well.