My TerraSkin paper arrived yesterday and I cut up one of the sheets to give it a little test run without committing myself to a large painting. This is the resulting image, perhaps another Christmas card in the making? What else could he be called but Rocky??
This paper is created from >75% mineral powder with <25% non toxic resin to hold it together. This produces an environmentally friendly paper. It is reported to be multimedia paper and similar to 385lb watercolour paper. I bought half a dozen half sheets to play with as I didn't know if I'd like it or not. However, it was very economically priced compared to what I usually pay for 300lb Arches.
The paper is substantially and feels like 300lb paper in terms of weight but has the smooth surface of Yupo and behaves similarly to that support but not as slippery. TerraSkin is exquisite to draw on and erases beautifully without marking the surface. The manufacturer claims that because it is fibreless it doesn't absorb ink as traditional paper does, therefore using 25% to 30% less ink when printing or drawing and doesn't bleed.
My test on this paper wasn't thorough or scientific. I simply sketched out my subject and then used watercolour to build layers. The resulting impressionistic image works for me and I do find the characteristics of TerraSkin similar to a subdued Yupo. I will try a graphite drawing on it next and then some pen and ink, as well as coloured pencil to see how it performs before I give it a thumbs up or down.
From a purely environmental perspective, I think its a superb product and after reading about some of the woes of the paper industry, it may well be a support of the future. MOMA uses TerraSkin for their consumer packaging now, leading the way into the future.
Design and Source say:
TerraSkin has 2 end of life options available, it is infinitely recyclable(with proper infrastructure or take-back programs) as well as degradable,when left out in nature for approximately three to nine months.
TerraSkin is very versatile and can be used in multiple paper and paperboard applications as well as thermoformed items.It can be embossed or hot-stamped and is also FDA approved for direct food contact.
In 2007 TerraSkin was awarded the Silver Cradle to Cradle certification by MBDC. www.TerraSkin.com