Hi All,

           I came back home from an full-on but fabulous week working in Canberra, helping to install an upgrade to their imaging system. I had a look round for myself for scraperboard suppliers. It is called scraperboard here in Australia.


I’m running workshops at “The Planting” Festival. Only for 10 people each at Woodford, north of Brisbane, 30th April and 1st May. There will be competition for places, as although it’s much smaller than Woodford Folk Festival, they do get quite a turnout.


I had already checked local suppliers and white Essdee is just not imported here. The seems to be really only one major wholesaler here and they only carry black. They have black and I think they get Clayboard.


I checked Amazon UK and found they had one pack of white via Jackson’s.


Then I searched for Jacksons UK (ignore the Western Australian store as they will have the same wholesaler) and found they had more and a cheaper price on that one product.


I bought two packs of the largest size and two packs each of number one and two scraper nibs. Delivery was about $100, converting to Aussie dollars from UK pounds. I’m not sure if they have  a standard price for Australian delivery or if smaller packs are cheaper to deliver.


I don’t use Bristol board myself but they do carry it. I’m not sure if any of those suit?


As you found often airmail is a cheaper option than shipping companies to and from Australia but it’s never cheap. It’s a hell of a long way!


I had better get back to an exhibition statement before I go to work. J





From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of gretchen halpert
Sent: Monday, 21 March 2016 1:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SCIART] Scratchboard, Bristol Board, Australia


Thank you Karen, Geoff, Bruce, Gail, Heather, and Linda, for all your input.


I have compiled all your links and will look through them and forward them to my student. As far as I know, the student has looked no further than Australia and the US, so he may do better from Europe. Bruce, I know they have ink nibs and holders in Bangkok. Sasivimon took me to a fun art supply store crammed with stuff. For scaper blades, they sent one of their members to gather those in Japan while he was there on business. Karen, I use the Strathmore 400 series smooth for ink. It has the brown cover with an airbrush image. I like the 500 too, but 400 is easier to find. I've never had trouble with bleeding. Illustration board, or any smooth or plate finsh paper will work. Geoff, I'll look into Amazon UK.


A few notes on scratchboard, from my experience:

-By far, the best is the old ESSDEE, which, of course, is no longer made. There is a new ESSDEE that is pretty good. Trudy Nicholson sent me a sample to try last year and I was happy with it. It has a tinge of yellow, which can be corrected to white for print. I don't mind the tinge. It's similar to the tinge on Arches watercolor paper. Trudy still uses the old; she has a personal stock left. I do too, so that's what I have for personal use. For students, I look for less expensive, but good, options.

-I have a large stock of Canson scratchboard; alas, that is no longer made. (But if anyone near me wants some, let me know)

-I chose Ampersand Claybord for my distance students because it's easy to find, order, and WAS reliable. They seem to have changed the processing. Without treatment, the board may bleed (75% of my students had problems with bleeding). I suggested they polish the board like we did with the old ESSDEE (pink pearl eraer, alcohol, chamois--as outlined in the GNSI Handbook) and that worked. I contacted Ampersand, sent them images, and they did their own tests. While they have not changed their formula, they got the same result--bleeding of ink while using crowquill and ink. They were surprised. Their suggestion was to purchase an oil free steel wool they sell and prep the board, so that's another option.

-Scratch-Art. Okay, this is a thin scratchboard that comes a dozen sheets to a pack, and WAS ideal for learning scratchboard. It was very inexpensive, needed no prep, and was not mounted on board, so light and easy to ship. You couldn't make a lot of corrections due to the thin coating of clay, but for learning, it was great. I used it for professional illustrations as well, when the project did not warrant the thicker clay coating of ESSDEE. After twenty odd years, they changed the manufacturing and/or the formula. It is worthless now. Totally worthless. I was never able to reach the company.


FYI. My quotes for shipping a 5lb box to AU ranged from $89 (USPS) to $200+ (UPS, FedEx)











Gretchen Halpert

Scientific Illustration Distance Program


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