Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Saga of Moldau Watercolour Paper

On a recent painting course the tutor (Charles Reid) was using a Czech-made paper called Moldau. He said he had used it in the distant past and it had now become available again in the USA through Italian Art. The full name is Velke Losiny Moldau. In America it is being sold as follows:
25 sheets (280gsm)11.5 x 16.5inches Approx £50. 22 x 30 inches 10 sheets approx £57.There is also an 180lb option. This is pricy but the paper is hand made.
Reid praised Moldau and very effusive comments have been posted by Bruce McEvoy on his `Handprint' site. It seems to be spreading in the USA.

Anyway I determined to track this stuff down after being unable to discover a UK source of supply. Enquiries to Great Art finally brought the information the MD (Germany) knew about them and might follow this up at the next German Art fair if they were exhibiting. Not very enthusiastic!
Enquiries on the net eventually led me to the mill in the Czech Republic to discover it had been making paper since the 1400's! Ian Sidwells book of watercolour papers mentions Velke Losiny but not Moldau paper. The website I found gave contact details and I e-mailed them. After two tries, one to the retail shop, a reply came back in Czech (?). I couldn't decipher it so I persisted. Amongst several similar responses I did receive one in English from the lady named as contact but she didn't seem to understand what I was after. Further e-mails produced the same indecipherable replies. I had almost given up when I received an e-mail from John Veldrau who said he had been appointed UK distributor. Was this as a result of my enquiries? Nothing much happened for a while and further enquiries to John elucidated the response he was still awaiting information etc from Czechoslovakia. That's how it stands at the moment. I will keep you posted!

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