I just put in an order for some paper from my regular mail order company. While I can get a lot of basic supplies here, pricing tends to be more expensive here and bargains can be had along with unique finds in art materials.
Today I found tree-less multimedia paper and ordered a few sheets to try out.
No priming is needed as this paper doesn't buckle, and makes an ideal surface for oils, acrylics, charcoal, pencil, pen & ink, watercolour & more.
Terraskin is made from 75% mineral powder (ground calcium carbonate or limestone) combined with 25% non-toxic resin. Tree-free, this paper uses no water or bleach during manufacturing.
This 348 lb paper feels similar to a 300 lb watercolour sheet, but is not as stiff as it does not contain any sizing.
There are quite a number of tree-free papers available it seems, including elephant poop, yep, the real thing. Odorless and bacteria free. Don't think I want to make that kind of paper. However, its a logical progression seeing that the diet of elephants, like horses or cows is predominantly grasses or other woody matter.
An additional link to more hand made papers is here.
Green Living Tips points to a number of varieites to look out for:
Bagasse - the pulp that remains after extracting juice from sugar cane.
Mango - Mango paper is usually from Thailand. It is made from kozo (paper mulberry) and mango leaf.
Banana - Made from waste bark of banana tree which is cut after the bananas have been ripened.
Cotton - Can be made from old cotton rags, clothing and general cotton waste
Jute - you've probably seen jute twine; usually brownish in color and quite coarse. It can also be made into high-quality writing and specialty papers
Elephant poop - yes, you read it right, poop - but it's bacteria free and odor free :).
Hemp - Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was the owner of a mill that made hemp paper and that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on paper made of hemp? Hemp has somewhat of a undeserved general reputation; but industrial hemp is an incredibly useful plant.
Straw - as straw fibers are very similar to wood fibers, it makes an excellent paper. Oddly enough, the USA was once the largest producer of straw for paper making; but the industry no longer exists.
Tamarind - contain petals and leaves from tamarind tree
Coconut - the husks of coconuts were usually discarded, but the fiber is now being used to create paper with a thick texture
However, I digress. I was going to subject you to a glimpse of the contents of my head before I go to sleep at night. Or perhaps during the night too sometimes. Most nights before I sleep, I draw in my sketchbook. These drawings can be snippets of anything, rather like a notebook for ideas, or notations about dreams. Most come from somewhere in my head and have no references, simply memory to go by. Others start out as a photo in a magazine, then morph from there.
These are a few that arrived over the last couple of weeks. Some have futures, their thumbnail forms rough and strange. Some are destined to be trapped in the sketchbook forever.