古紙新造

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1988 / 7月

文‧謝淑芬 圖‧陳品君


你知道一幅水墨畫想流垂千古,需要多少條件來配合嗎?

畫家的才藝、裱褙功夫、保存方法……都是關鍵;但是,最讓人忽略卻又最重要的是——紙。

沒有好的紙,再高妙的畫藝,都會因褪色、腐蝕、蟲蛀、……而大打折扣。「紙壽千年絹八百」,一張好的手工紙,竟然能有千年之壽,但它卻是得來不易。


在百貨公司或超級市場,常可看到電器產品的試用或飲料食品的試吃大會。這招,通常是「直指人心」的最佳妙方。在硬碰硬的情況下,顧客很容易掏腰包。

六月底,林業試驗所即將舉行一場試用會,只是,試用的既非電器也不是食物,它是——手工紙。

傳統技藝,文化「紙」標

八種新產品將公開接受挑戰,書畫家們的畫筆一揮、金石一印,各式手工紙的身價馬上可見高下。這場手工紙的「選美大賽」,勢必在畫壇上激起漣漪。

手工紙,顧名思義,就是人工手製的紙,有別於機器製造的紙。最常見的,是一般畫國畫、寫書法用的宣紙和棉紙。在日本,手工紙稱為「和紙」,除了書、畫外,還被廣泛用於日常生活用品及手工藝品。

台灣的手工造紙技術傳承自中原地區,早期以美濃的紙較著名;而台中縣埔里在日據時期即有造紙工廠。據說埔里的地下水不含鐵質,造出來的紙不易變色。因此台灣光復後,一家家造紙工廠陸續設立,埔里成為台灣手工造紙業的集散地,目前大大小小共有卅多家。

國內所生產的宣紙、棉紙,除小部分內銷外,其餘大部分外銷日本。埔里長春棉紙廠總經理陳濤聲表示,由於日本人學習書畫的風氣普及,對手工紙需求量頗大,因此成為我國的大客戶,每年外銷數字成長率在百分之十至廿之間。

但是,旺盛的外銷景氣中,卻藏著若干隱憂。

台灣買不到好紙?

因為,台灣的手工紙業者均靠傳統的經驗造紙,在大量出口的需求下,常為了趕時間無法顧及品質。

以宣紙為例,「品質的差異太大了」,中興大學森林系教授張豐吉指出。原料不佳、技術守成、品管不嚴都是問題,尤其是業者不重視研究,使得「內行人都跑到香港、日本買高級紙。」。

眼看國內手工紙業停滯不前,終於有一位「管家婆」按捺不住,決心出面整頓。

民國七十三年,台灣省林業試驗所成立了手工造紙研究室,專事於原料的栽培及品質改良,和傳統手工造紙技法的研究,目的希望讓台灣的手工紙「改頭換面」。此外,還要開發手工紙的加工及應用方法,提昇手工紙的附加價值,好輔導業者升級。

其中,最基礎的工作就是開發手工造紙的原料。

樹皮是造紙王牌

中國傳統的手工造紙原料不外樹皮、麻、藤、竹、草幾類,其中以樹皮類最佳。它的纖維強韌,而且含量豐富,容易抽取剝離,所造的紙,質地堅韌,保存性最久,是諸多原料中的「王牌」。在台灣,手工紙原料除了量多、取得容易的竹、草類外,樹皮亦是重要材料。

如果就高級特用紙張而言,樹皮類中又以構樹、三椏,和雁皮的品質最佳,日本著名的「和紙」即是以這三類樹皮為主。尤其是構樹(又名楮樹),種植一年即可收成,分佈地區很廣,中國、日本、泰國、東南亞等地均可生長,自古為我國高級書畫用紙。如「楮皮宣」,質柔而韌,且有防蟲功能,經久不蠹。

但是,當業者用生長於熱帶或亞熱帶的構樹來造紙,卻常發現紙面上會產生不吸墨的白斑點。對於講求墨色的書畫來說,它嚴重影響了藝術效果,令造紙業者十分頭大。

化腐朽為神奇

事實上,十幾年前就有人注意到這些問題了。中興大學森林系教授張豐吉,一直希望能在台灣眾多纖維植物中另尋適合做手工紙的本土產物。他成立國內第一間手工造紙研究室,是台灣研究手工紙的第一人。

有一天,他看到家堛獄騉虪訄嚘§藻洮廒o棄的鳳梨葉,突然興起一個念頭:「為何不試試看?」

花了將近十年的時光,張豐吉終於造出令已故國畫大師張大千譽為明清以來最好的宣紙——菠蘿宣,他還受託特製蓋上「大風堂」水印的書畫紙,供大師專用。

沒想到,在這十年間,台灣的鳳梨田因為經濟價值低而面積逐漸減小。鳳梨葉取得也日益不易,無法大量生產菠蘿紙,因而促使他又回頭尋找並研究造紙材料。

在張豐吉教授的建議下,林業試驗所成立的手工造紙研究室,是國內第二所手工造紙的研究機構。由木材纖維繫主任谷雲川主持,致力於樹皮紙的研究。

研究的重點是:怎樣去除構樹皮紙不吸墨的斑點,及研製出更好的紙。

台灣省林業試驗所研究員王國財,就是這個研究計畫的「大柱子」之一。

調兵遣將、各適所需

一開始,他採用化學方法,想在造紙過程中,經由添加化學藥劑,去除構樹皮中的樹脂成分,使它不會遇熱凝結成團而在紙面形成不吸墨的斑點。但他發現,沒有樹脂的紙,遇墨反而容易暈開,不適合書畫。

碰到這個瓶頸,王國財苦思不已:有沒有其他化學藥劑,可以不需去除所有樹脂,又能改變樹脂的性質?經過一年多的試驗,他終於找出了一種「離子介面活性藥劑」(可以改變樹脂的親水性成分化學藥劑),成功地造出吸墨性好、又無斑點的高級楮皮紙。「這種紙質地勻潔、光滑細緻,可渲可染,很適合書法之用」,書法家曹愉生試過紙,下了這個結論。

此外,王國財還研製出印譜紙,極適合金石之用。一般說來,金石藝術需要表達方寸之間的美感,因此愈細膩輕薄的紙質,愈能充分顯現金石的線條之美。王國財製造時特別加強了打漿(將纖維打成漿)和抄紙(紙漿在竹簾上成型的過程)的處理,並保留紙的自然原色,不予漂白,看來十分淳樸典雅。擅長金石的藝術家小魚,對這種紙就情有獨鍾。

長年和樹皮、麻、竹「相處」,久而久之就摸透了各家的脾氣。目前,他已有「調兵遣將」、截長補短的功力。楮皮、雁皮、桑、三椏性「韌」;鐘麻、馬尼拉麻性「鬆厚」;竹和稻草有「潤墨」的效果。如將楮皮、雁皮混合稻草,則紙質柔韌,墨色飽滿,且耐久性增加。

這次發表會上,將有楮皮紙、雁皮紙、楮皮宣、本色皮麻紙……等八種高級皮紙,讓書畫家揮毫試用。

除了原料的試用與改進,紙張加工的研究也是林試所的重點項目。

美容乎?傷害乎?

中國一些傳統的紙張加工法,仍然被現代的手工紙業傳用,卻也正是使紙張品質無法提昇的原因。

比如,剛製好的紙稱為「生紙」,紙張的纖維間有許多空隙,若是直接拿來寫字或印刷,油墨會透過空隙快速暈開,或映在紙的反面。於是古人以明礬和黏膠液混合,再均勻地塗刷到紙面上,等於在紙面打一層「粉底」,不僅可將空隙填補起來,還進一步地改善了紙面的光滑度及吸墨性,這種上了膠、明礬的紙即稱「熟紙」。

這個方法一直應用到廿世紀的今天。

此外,正統的手工造紙應該是用極自然溫和的方式來處理。一張紙,從原料的採集、洗選,纖維經過自然發酵、天然漂白到戶外晾曬,可以耗費半年以上的製作時間。

但是,台灣的手工紙業在大量需求之下,自是無法顧及,多以強烈的化學藥劑和漂白劑縮短處理過程的時間。

這又有什麼不對呢?

「加填的物質,常在不知不覺中損及紙色,傷害紙質」,王國財說,比如明礬是酸性物質,它會加速紙張的老化;而澱粉會導致紙張乾裂,又容易滋生黴菌;漂白劑則會分解破壞紙張纖維……。

科技創新,古藝延續

不信邪的王國財,鎮日埋首實驗室,腦中想的是:「到底該加什麼東西才好呢?」

事情終於有了契機,「我找出了一種以AKD(一種上膠劑)為主的純中性化學藥劑,替代傳統的明礬和膠水,效果挺好的」,王國財輕描淡寫地說,旁人一點兒都看不出他曾在實驗室苦熬過多少歲月。

改良手工紙發表會舉行的時間愈來愈近,個性平實、謹慎的王國財並沒有手舞足蹈的興奮,「這只是一個過程,以後該做的事還很多!」

名畫如果有知,不免要感謝這些默默耕耘的人物;沒有他們,幾年後姣好的容顏會變成什麼樣子,都想像不出來呢!

〔圖片說明〕

P.42

中興大學森林系教授張豐吉,首開國內手工紙研究風氣。

P.42

一張張刷上特製膠液的手工紙,經過自然溫和的晾曬處理,耐久性大為提高。

P.44

抄紙之前要先打槽,即把紙漿的纖維攪拌均勻。

P.44

抄紙的主要動作:手持木篩在漿液堳e後左右移動,又稱撈紙。

P.45

漿液中的纖維在細密的竹簾上堆積成一張薄薄的紙膜。

P.45

取下紙膜,乾燥後,手工紙「誕生」了。

P.47

手工紙除了做為書法、繪畫之用,透過染色及加工處理後,更可以應用在各種手工藝品和藝術創作上。

P.46

強韌的樹皮要先經浸泡、蒸煮、漂洗和機器捶搗及分解纖維等步驟才能製成紙漿。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

New Ways of Making Ancient Paper

Daisy Shieh /photos courtesy of P.J. Chen /tr. by Stephen Rabasco

Do you know what it takes to make paper so that an ink painting can hang for a thousand years?

The skill of the artist, the technique of framing, and the method of preserving the painting are all key points, but the most important factor, something which often slips our mind, is the paper.

Without the right paper, the value of fine art work would be diminished greatly due to fading and damage done by insects. A well-made sheet of handmade paper may be kept for a thousand years, but making such paper is not an easy task.


Handmade paper, as its name implies, is paper made by hand as opposed to machine-made paper. The most commonly seen paper is hsuan paper and cotton paper used for traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy work. In Japan handmade paper is called washi. Besides painting and calligraphy it is also used in handicrafts.

Techniques of making paper stem from the Central Plains along the down-stream regions of the Yellow River. At an early point in time on Taiwan, the town of Meinung was known for its fine paper. Puli County, Taichung, was the sight of paper factories during the Japanese Occupation. It's said that the underground water in Puli didn't contain iron so the paper made there would not fade with time. So, after Taiwan was recovered, paper factories were established in Puli one after another. Now, with more than a total of thirty such paper manufactories of various sizes, Puli has become the center of the paper making industry on Taiwan.

A small portion of the hsuan paper and cotton paper produced in Puli is sold on Taiwan. The remaining paper is mostly sold to Japan. Chen Tao Sheng, manager of the Chang Chuen Cotton Paper Manufactory, says it's more common for the Japanese to learn traditional painting forms, so the demand for handmade paper is greater. For this reason, Japan has become a large customer of the R.O.C. as exports increase at an annual rate of ten to twenty percent.

Behind this scene of flourishing exports there's a bit of remorse. You see, those who make handmade paper on Taiwan depend entirely on traditional ways, so in order to meet the great demands, the quality of the paper can not be assured. In view of this, a research laboratory was established in 1984 at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute to give the paper making industry on Taiwan a face-lifting. Besides this, the institute also aimed to develop handmade paper process and application methods, increase the value of handmade paper, and assist the industry in improving techniques.

More importantly, the institute's major task was to develop raw materials for the handmade paper industry.

The highest quality paper is that made from Broussonetia papyrifera, Edgeworthia papyrifera, and Wikstroemia sikikiana. The Japanese make use of these three kinds of tree bark as the major material to make their celebrated washi paper. Broussonetia papyrifera, also called paper mulberry, can be harvested one year after being planted, and may be grown in China, Japan, Thailand, and other southeast Asian countries. Since ancient times, paper mulberry has been used in China to make high-quality paper for painting.

Traditional handmade paper should be made in the most natural delicate manner. The process of making a single sheet of paper, from the collection of raw materials, washing, natural fermentation, natural bleaching to drying under the sun, may take as much as six months to complete.

Kuo-tsai Wang, from the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, says, "Without realizing it, the addition of something may affect the color of the paper or harm the quality of the paper." For example, alum is an acidic substance which causes paper to age rapidly, and starch will cause the paper to dry, crack, and grow bacteria. Bleaching agents destroy the fiber easily.

While in the laboratory, Kuo-tsai Wang often asks himself, "What's the right thing to add?"

"I've found a way of adding a type of AKD (a type of sizing agent) as a major neutral chemical agent into the paper as a substitute for traditional alum and glue. The results have been good." People on the sidelines haven't seen the years of hard labor Wang has spent in the laboratory.

If famous paintings had a mind of their own they would thank these silent heroes, because without them, what would such paintings look like if insects had their own way?

[Picture Caption]

National Chung Hsing University Forestry professor Chang Feng-jyi is a forerunner in the research of handmade paper.

A sheet of handmade paper with specially made glue must pass through natural warming and drying before its durability may be prolonged.

Before making a sheet of paper it must first be mashed, and then the fibre of the pulp must be thoroughly mixed together.

The main action involved in making a sheet of handmade paper is to slowly shake a wooden screen back and forth in pulp. This is also referred to as "dragging paper."

The fibre in the pulp, will form a thin membrane on the screen.

After the membrane is removed and set to dry, the birth of another sheet of paper takes place.

Besides being used for calligraphy work and painting, handmade paper may serve various handicraft purposes after being dyed and processed.

Resilient tree bark must pass through the process of being soaked, steamed, bleached, machine pounded and fibre separated before it is made into pulp.

 

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