Archive for September, 2009

Make Your Own Custom Scrap Bag!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Sunday, October 18th from 4-7pm

Our last scrap bag event was such a success that we have decided to do it all over again!  Come dive into our massive collection of off-cuts to create your own customized bag of goodies!  We will have two sizes available so you can get as much or as little as you need.

Mini Scrap Bag

Mini Scrap Bag


Japanese Handmade Kozo Cards

Saturday, September 26th, 2009






Perhaps the thickest handmade Japanese paper we carry are the smaller series of Kozo cards, ranging between 240g to 300g in weight. The smallest, called Etchu Meishi, is 2.25 x 3.75” in size. The next sizes up are the 4 x 6” Hagaki, and the 6 x 8” Etchu Hagaki. We now carry the format called Tanzaku, which is 2.5 x 14.25”. We also have a 9.25 x 10.5” size called Shikishi Etchu available by special request.

In Japan, Meishi are considered calling cards or business cards and Hagaki are postcards often sent at New Years. The larger Shikishi seems to be a more recent creation to imitate traditional scrolls, smaller than scroll sheets to better fit the modern home. Tanzaku is a format often used to write wishes on to then hang from tree branches during festivals.

There are many uses for these sturdy, deckled edge sheets – gift tags, unique business cards, artist trading cards, labels, place cards, recipes, rubber stamping, small painting, drawing, and printmaking artworks.

I love these heavyweights for collage bases, I feel I can really load them with layers of other papers if I wanted to, and they’re stiff enough to easily stitch through. For a pure Kozo paper, they have an unusually smooth finish, as shown in the Meishi with a drawing of my dog Stevie, using very fine tipped pigment ink pens – no fuzzy lines or bleeding associated with inks on some other Kozo sheets. However, they also take paints and dyes if you want to stain them, Kozo being very absorbent. I also find that being smaller than typical 25 x 37” sheets, they’re less intimidating for me and are a nice human scale.
















Artwork created by Leah Taylor on Japanese Handmade Kozo Cards

With Information kindly provided by Sigrid at The Japanese Paper Place


Kirigami Paper Animals

Thursday, September 17th, 2009


Kirigami Menagerie

Kirigami Menagerie

Another book we love is Kirigami Menagerie, 38 Paper Animals to copy, cut and fold. It’s terrific! Kirigami is a combination of two Japanese words. Kiri means “cutting” and gami means “paper.” Simply photocopy the templates onto the paper of your choice, cut the image out, score along the dotted lines, fold and viola! The instructions are east to follow and you’ll fall in love with every animal you complete. Most of the animals are strong enough to stand alone, the flying ones require twine to hang. All you need is a little practice and in no time you will be able to turn a piece of paper into a 3D animal!


Kirigami Animals

Kirigami Animals


Washi! A Staff Exhibition

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

No Heart, No Brain by Heather Marchand

Detail of No Heart, No Brain by Heather Marchand

On Friday, September 18th, in conjunction with The Queen West Art Crawl, we will be launching an exhibition of staff artwork created entirely out of Washi.  8 pieces in total, the exhibition will feature drawing, sculpture, collage and will run from Sept. 18th until Oct. 14th.  Stop by and be inspired by the endless possibilities of the fascinating resource that is Washi.


A couple of my favourites…

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

At The Paper Place, we stock dozens of handmade natural and solid colour washi (Japanese paper.)  These are two of my favourites.

Seikosen Mitsumata       25.5 x 71”

Seikosen Mitsumata

Seikosen Mitsumata

“Seikosen Mitsumata is made by three generations of one family in the Kochi region on the island of Shikoku. It is made from 100% Japanese mitsumata fibre which is cooked in lime and is unbleached; the warm creamy tone is its natural colour. Mitsumata fibre is shorter than kozo and so results in a softer paper. (The Japanese consider mitsumata to be the feminine fibre because of its warm tone and softer feel…) The pronounced laid lines come from the reed screens on which it is made, and the faint wood grain surface texture comes from the wooden boards on which it is dried in the sun. 100% traditional. 100% natural.”

Kizuki Kuromatsu       25 x 37”

Kizuki Kuromatsu

Kizuki Kuromatsu

“Kizuki Kuromatsu is handmade from 100% imported kozo fibre in a region that has specialized for generations in the production of dyed handmade papers. One of the main uses of this particular colour of paper in the west has been for the repair leather in old books!”

Seikosen Mitsumata soaks up dyes and retains a unique softness even after it is treated with konnyaku starch.  I find it impossible to resist Kizuki Kuromatsu; it has a richness of texture and colour that any paper lover would drool over.  I have used both papers in my own work and they are delightful!

Washi information provided by The Japanese Paper Place, inspiring the world through Japanese paper since 1980.