The unique craft of adding a watermark to the paper originated in Italy around 14th century in a small town Fabriano on Marche Island, Italy. Originally watermarks were made as a simple initial or trademark symbol. Over the centuries the art evolved from primitive to the artistic – reproducing the works of art, famous portraits or coat of arms. The technique is based on fixed-wire mould used for the insertion of distinctive marks that can be seen against the light…
In older days the Fabriano paper-makers used the water driven stamping mills. Several mills were present where the old linen or cotton rugs were used to create the fine pulp. The pulp is the base of what would become the raw paper. In turn that raw paper will be submerged in the gelatin derived from animal bones – another invention of the Fabriano artisans. Even in our days this technique is used to produce some of the banknotes, shares, cheques, some other fancy business papers and special papers for pencil, pen, wash and watercolour drawings.
As a visitors of the special workshop organized by St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura held by Federico Salvatori, Mastro Cartaio (“master papermaker”) of the Paper and Watermark Museum in Fabriano, along with Professor Paolo Granata of the UofT. We have a chance to make our own paper with watermark using this truly unique experience to feel the value of creation and appreciate the artistic approach to paper-making.
If you want to know more or visit the Museum in Fabriano here is the link to their website: http://www.museodellacarta.com/