Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tools of the trade: smoothing out things

Bone folders are one of a collage artists's essential tools. I use them every day to burnish paper, smooth out wrinkles and to make sure that everything is well adhered after gluing. As much as I like bone folders, I've all but given them up in favor of Teflon "Bone" folders.

The major advantages are that they don't leave marks on the paper, won't tear thin papers and are easily cleaned. Happily, a bigger range of sizes and shapes is available now. And, as soon as I pay the most recent framing bill, I'm saving for an entire set of Teflon tools. Right now, I have but one large folder. A few weeks ago,  that one was misplaced and I was in a panic until finding it.

No shops carry them locally, so I shop online. The ones pictured above are available from Talas. It's a remarkable Brooklyn shop for conservation, preservation and restoration supplies. It specializes in bookbinding supplies and the customer service is great.

An even bigger selection is available from I haven't ordered from here but am impressed by the array of folders. It also carries Teflon-coated tweezers, spatulas, carving tools and scissors.

Another source, but with less of a selection, is Ann Arbor's Hollander's. Love, love, love this place. I once detoured to Ann Arbor to visit the shop, and will likely do it again. It's paper heaven.