i know a magician never reveals his secrets... but i am DYING to know how you were able to fade the words on the page, if you ever feel like disclosing some info... but that aside, this is excellent. beyond well done.
Happy to disclose! I take the ink off the page with regular Scotch tape - Scotch Magic is what I usually have on hand. Masking tape works too. These tapes will pick up ink off any unvarnished paper (magazine interiors not covers - try it with newsprint and you'll see) and when you have old thick paper that the ink has soaked into for a long time like I do here (it's a book from the early 20th century) it leaves some behind and gives this nice effect.
Did I tell you that last week I spent hours trying to approximate your method of flat subtraction? I couldn't get it. If you ever want to share the secret, note me! I swear, I tried everything, but I kept getting paper-pulp clumps. I finally gave up and the piece turned into a faux encaustic (which is still drying). AAARGH. Anyway, I love this. Who wouldn't?
Beautifully simple and poignant. I agree with you about the coffee / tea debate. Tea somehow does work better. Earl Gray tea particularly. I have found if you iron over a coffee stain, it does get to a more satisying intensity. But then again, soya sauce is trumps them all!