Posts Tagged ‘washi’

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 for more information.


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

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

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

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.

Tuesday June 28th, 2011 – 6:30-8:30pm

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.


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



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.


Seichosen Kozo

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

From now on, I will be posting regular blogs featuring our papers that we love the most.  I thought that it would be appropriate, for the first post, to feature the paper that I use in my own artwork.

Seichosen Kozo (Long) 25.5″ x 70.5″

Seichosen Kozo is made from 100% Japanese Kozo. The fibre is soaked & sun-bleached in pools of water created in a stream outside the papermaking studio. The kozo is then cooked in slaked lime which makes a softer, less shiny paper than fibre cooked in wood ash or soda ash. The sheets are formed on reed screens (rather than the usual bamboo) and are dried in the open air on wooden boards.

All of this is still carried out by the three generations of the Ozaki family in their mountain home in Kochi.  Kochi has long been known for rice cultivation and the farmers would make paper for their livelihood during the winter months.  The Ozaki’s are the last of these paper makers. (information courtesy of The Japanese Paper Place and Hiromi Paper International.)

The photo above is of the most recent mountain of hand-dyed papers in my studio.  I am preparing for my next piece in a new series.  After dyeing I treat each piece with konnyaku and then meticulously cut into 1.5″ squares.

Two pieces from my last series were just hung in the store today!  If you are passing by on Queen Street come in for a peak to see these in person.

Raspberries, 2010Kudzu, 2010


Printing Etchings on Gampi Silk Tissue

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I recently printed some etchings on “Gampi Silk Tissue”, one of many great Japanese printmaking papers available at The Paper Place.

Gampi is the inner bark fibre of a bush that grows wild in Japan and has been used in Japanese papermaking for centuries. In fact, it was one the of the first papers developed in Japan appearing in the 8th century under the name hi-shi, which it is occasionally still called.  Gampi paper is ideal for intaglio printing and chine-collé because it has a natural strength and a lustrous sheen.
“Gampi Silk Tissue” is a delicate, translucent paper that prints beautifully. Although I was extremely impressed with the quality of my prints, I found the tissue to be somewhat tricky to work with when wet. All gampi papers become quite slippery when wet, but since the silk tissue is a very thin paper, it nearly disappears. I would recommend spritzing the paper with water, rather than immersing it before printing.

“Gampi Silk Tissue” is a machine-made paper, which makes it an affordable choice for students. I was very happy with my results and I can’t wait to work with “Gampi Silk Tissue” again.

- Emily