Natural Paper Spotlight

You know what we have a lot of at The Paper Place?
Pep and zeal.
Also, paper.
A lot of paper.

We have so much paper (over 2000 different kinds) that sometimes a beautiful variety gets lost in the shuffle.
A few weeks back I found myself doing inventory of the Naturals, my favourite category, having not worked at The Paper Place that long, it was a perfect way to get acquainted with the Washi. It can be a hard category for a newcomer, so many of the papers would seem to be similar at first, but in their hand-feel and reaction to art mediums, they all have their own personalities. I was surprised to find some papers that I had never seen pulled for customers, or had even noticed in our binders. I wanted to feature five of those papers.

Benihana Binsen – Saffron Paper: When I first saw it I was immediately struck by how the naturally highly pigmented saffron seems to float in the neutral fibre of the washi paper. Drifting in and out at different densities. It’s a soft surface, one that might suit illustration, paper-cut and collage. 

Hitachi: This beautiful paper is reminiscent of my favourite tissue (Kozo Itame), both are handmade and both have an water-embossed woodgrain. I love wood. I love paper. I love paper that looks like wood… and our wood that looks like paper!

Moiri Shi White – Moss Paper: Like our inclusion tissues this paper features fibres pressed into the washi. It has the look of a soft crackle, a pale marble.

Chiri Circle Paper: This paper has a concentrated amount of chiri fibres, some fine, some large, in a circular shape in the center of each page. It’s a gorgeous paper all on its own. I am still working out ways to show its beauty. Perhaps hanging a sheet from a dowel where natural light can highlight the difference in density. I would love to draw something using the shape of the chiri as a textured representation of something else.

Kingin Stationery – There is a part of me that enjoys sparkly things in moderation, the Kingin stationery strikes a wonderful balance between handmade and refined elegance, with its hazy surface, soft deckled edge and gold flecks. The density of the handmade paper, the fibres of the kozo, diffuse the gold– letting it glow softly with more subtlety. A gorgeous paper for writing a special letter, a base for illustration, or collage.

We’re asked every day So… what can you DO with this paper?

The answer: What CAN’T you do? (Well, not brain surgery, probably, but A LOT.)

With our silkscreened and dyed patterned papers, the Chiyogami, Katazome, Nepalese, and Indian papers you can certainly frame them on their own, wrap presents, do decoupaged boxes, furniture inlays, wallpapering, collage, but with papers like these – the Naturals, the options may not seem as obvious, but they are just as endless. As bases for illustration their particular textures can be utilized as context, they can be used to in screens and windows to diffuse light and add interest, they can bring a soft, delicate and subtle touch to furniture as inlays, some surfaces are ideal for ink and silkscreening. If you’re interested in our papers but stuck on what to DO with them, I suggest having a look through craft blogs, and our selection of books on paper craft, and get inspired!


2 Responses to “Natural Paper Spotlight”

  1. Julia says:

    Hi Faith! It’s a big task cataloguing, photographing, and updating our site to reflect each paper we carry, pretty near impossible I’m afraid. Now that you’ve seen some of what we carry in the Handmade Naturals category, if you were interested in one of these, you an always send us an email and we’d be happy to put an order together for you!

  2. Faith says:

    Oh la la! Too bad they’re not available online… sigh.


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