Posts Tagged ‘washi’

East Meets West – A Guest Post by Nancy Jacobi

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

We are so honoured to introduce a guest post by Nancy Jacobi of The Japanese Paper Place.  Nancy possesses an incredible amount of knowledge about Japanese Paper and is fiercely passionate about educating people about all the wondrous possibilities that exist within these beautiful papers.

Mainstream art materials in the East for centuries, sumi ink paired with absorbent Japanese paper are gradually working their way into the hearts and hands of the west.

A great way to start getting to know these materials is with a pad of cut paper like this one which has absorbent, heavier paper than usual, and a bottle of liquid sumi ink.

Any watercolour brush with soft hair can be used, but Chinese brushes with bamboo handles in a variety of sizes are the most common.

Sumi ink and oriental paper were brought to Japan in the year 610 by Buddhist monks who used the combined materials for writing prayers. Sumi is made from the soot of pine or canola oil mixed with animal glue and formed into a hardened rectangular shape. Ground and mixed with water, it produces a permanent and intense black like none other. Many people prefer the stick form for the mesmerizing process and the quality of the resulting ink. But this bottle of pre-mixed ink is a good quality recommended by the Shodo National Education Union in Japan, and much simpler to use.

Recently we asked artist David Hu, an old hand with sumi ink to demonstrate how he uses these materials and we learned a lot!

If he uses just the sumi ink on his brush, the effect will be richly black, completely absorbed by the soft Japanese paper.

One of the features of this pad for students of shodo (Japanese calligraphy) or sumi-e (brush painting of images) is that you can use a wet brush without ink to practice the forms – do your critique, let it dry and try again later on the same sheet of paper which dries quite flat! The heaviness of the paper makes this possible. Here David practices the panda.

In the west, sumi is used by many artists like Lorraine Pritchard in unique ways, layering varying weights of Japanese paper with sumi painting.

On his Japanese paper dress, Toronto designer Lei Li has used splattered sumi ink to great effect.

Lately, Sumi Ink Clubs are popping up around the world as a way to get communities drawing together with these uncomplicated ancient media.

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Celeste Prize

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Finalist for the Celeste Prize competition is artist Aleck Grgurick. His live media entry uses technology and one of our most sumptuous papers Gampi Torinoko. Check out his work here www.celesteprize.com.

We are rooting for you, Aleck!

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Living With Washi

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

If you have wandered by or into the store lately you will see that our current windows feature Japanese Papers for the Living With Washi event taking place in the city. There are just a few days left to take advantage of the series of events, exhibitions and lectures organized by The Japanese Paper Place. The events run until the 18th of June and our windows feature Kozuke White and Ivory that have designs painted on them with sumi-e ink. The papers were then “crumpled” by hand and worked until they developed a fabric like softness. Perfect for all kinds of decorative use such as shoji screens, lamps and pillows . . . even clothing! Check out washisummit.com for more information.

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Living with Washi – June Workshops

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

In conjunction with The Japanese Paper Place’s Living with Washi: Japanese Paper Inspiring Daily Life we will be running a series of Washi inspired workshops through the month of June!

Paper Covered Lamps
Tuesday June 7th, 2011 – 6:30-8:30pm
$60

The Japanese decorative papers that we are famous for are transformed by light. Subtle textures and under layed colours are revealed when they are illuminated. Each participant will receive a glass lamp to cover and access to a variety of fine Japanese decorative papers and tissues. Explore the possibilities of illuminated collage work while learning the technique of adhering paper to glass.

Papercut for Home Décor
Tuesday June 14th, 2011 – 6:30-8:30pm
$45

Join us for an evening as we take the mystery out of paper cutting. Learn to draw and pull 3-dimensional forms out of paper with a craft knife. You will be inspired to create forms for use in all kinds of home décor

Chiyogami Bijou
Tuesday June 21st, 2011 – 6:30-8:30pm
$40

Dive into our secret stash of off-cuts to create unique jewelry pieces out of Japanese Chiyogami paper. You will have fun experimenting with glass mounted paper pendants, paper covered wooden bangles, broaches, and lacquered origami pieces.

Konnyaku
Tuesday June 28th, 2011 – 6:30-8:30pm
$55

Best known in Japan as a food, konnyaku – or Devil’s Tongue Root starch – has also been used for centuries to make kamiko (paper clothing). Applied to washi paper and worked in by hand, this starch allows you to add wonderful textures, strength and durability. Papers treated with konnyaku can be used to make momigami for use in book covers and other projects where tough paper is needed. They are also suitable for stitching and dyeing. In this workshop you will learn the preparation of konnyaku, techniques for applying starch to a variety of papers, as well as be inspired by examples of what creative projects become possible with momigami.

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Don’t forget, there’s still room left in our spring workshops, hurry to sign up before they go!

 

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Adventures in Shifu!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

This Sunday night we are hosting a shifu demonstration by the very talented Beth Showalter.  It got me thinking about the last time Beth was here and how inspired I was by her drop spindle technique for spinning paper into thread.  At the time I was very excited to test some of my favourite papers to see how they would work as paper thread.  Here are the results – note that each spindle is photographed in front of the paper that was spun!

My first sample was a piece of gorgeous fold dyed itajime paper – I love the variegated effect of the beautiful blues.

Next I tried two different colours of another handmade fold dyed paper called Orizome. I was extremely pleased with the final effect!


Here is some Kurotani #16, this strong washi paper spun into a beautiful strong thread with a lovely texture.

My final sample was Matsuo Kozo #7, this was my definitely my favourite! It spun into a delightfully thin thread that I eventually used in my miniature knit paper dress featured here.

For now my samples sit on a shelf surrounded by some other lovely things that make me happy!

If you are interested in learning more about spinning paper thread (both with and without a spinning wheel!) there are still a few spots left for our demonstration that takes place this Sunday, April 17th from 5:30-7:30pm. There is a $25 fee for the workshop and participants receive instructions, a small skein of spun paper and a piece of washi to take home and experiment with.

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