009: Butter paper

January 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

When I was young, my architect father often worked at home in the evening. He always had a roll or two of translucent yellow paper and soft pencils for sketching. The yellow rolls were known as butter paper. In those pre-CAD days, it was ubiquitous. When I was thinking of going to architecture school, I bought myself some soft pencils and a roll of butter paper… the first of many that I’ve used over the years.

When I moved west, I found that the butter-colored rolls of tracing paper were missing from the art store shelves. Instead there was buff paper, or white. Of course, those rolls went by different names: the boring, like “trace”, and the scatalogical, like “bumwad”. I missed the bright golden color, but I figured that it must be a regional thing. However, when I mentioned to one office manager that I liked yellow tracing paper, she found it online (we were no longer pre-CAD by then) and ordered some for me.

Eventually, that office closed its doors, and a few of us divided the spoils that weren’t worth either selling or shipping to the firm’s main office.  I took home the last of the butter paper, plus a couple of rolls of buff paper. (SO much stuff I brought home from that office; I’m sure I’ll be getting rid of more of it this year!) Six years later, I’ve used very little of the butter paper. When I draw at home, I’m either on my computer, or redlining drawings for someone else. I do, however, use tracing paper at my office. So tonight, when I went back to the office after dinner, I took these five rolls with me. The buff paper went into the general office stash, but the butter paper is staying at my desk. It’s still mine, but it’s out of the house, so that counts, yes?


§ 2 Responses to 009: Butter paper

  • nazila says:

    I am giving all of this except the vellum to my nephew. I loved the charette yellow paper. I loved it much more than the regular white trace. My sister in law may end of killing me for giving it to him, but I will appreciate his drawings later.

    • Kimberly says:

      I would’ve given most of my drawing supplies to my nephews, if that didn’t involve shipping stuff to Texas. My mother has been gradually doling out all of my father’s stock of paper to them, so they’re getting a good supply. Why would your SIL kill you? Your nephew has to draw on something, doesn’t he?

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