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Evolution of a Paper Passion: Japan June 14 2018

katazome, washi, vintage, Japanese paper, Japan Vintage resist-dyed pattern- katazome paper.
Part I ­­– Inspiration: My passion for washi (Japanese paper) and washi craft objects was sparked in the late 60's when my mother returned from visiting Japan with a suitcase full of goodies. My attraction to anything paper grew strong, as did my intention to visit Japan someday.
Japanese paper,washi, sensu, yoji, gohei, shimenawa, pochibukuro, folding fan, mizuhiki, Japan Inspiring collections include everyday objects made with washi.
Fast forward to the 1980's; I moved to Japan, and while living there I experienced how washi was made by hand. Living in Japan for 4 years, I was immersed in the complex, inspiring craft history of Japan. Back in the USA, I took a job as Art Director and was in charge of a significant collection of Japanese craft, folk art and washi. These experiences allowed me to gain great knowledge of Japanese craft decorative techniques, but also set in motion a greater appreciation for the magical creation of a simple, undecorated piece of handmade paper; specifically washi. I am steadfast in my endeavor to articulate and impart to the next generation, the intense labor involved in birthing a simple piece of pure, handmade paper. In addition, to portray Japanese paper's wonderful and ubiquitous nature in everyday Japanese life. In 1989, I began selling washi in the United States and continued my research into the history of hand and machine papermaking methods. In 1992, I shared in this passion when I facilitated a one-week long papermaking and paper craft, multi-workshop event in the Boston area.
washi, nagashizuki, kozo, Peabody Essex, Kochi, Tosa Washi, Japanese paper, Japan, Salem Leading a demonstration at the 1992 Tosa Washi papermakers forum in Salem, MA.
I co-hosted 20 paper artists from Japan with the Peabody Essex Museum. This immersive time with Japanese traditional papermakers and artists, was pivotal. It became crystal clear to me that this passion was about connection and commitment to this rich history and the individuals living it. From that point on, I dedicated myself to supporting these and other traditional makers and artists in their endeavors and thus bringing their paper world into my world. I am fortunate to continue this work as the Founder and Director of Paper Connection International, LLC in Providence, Rhode Island. With residences in both the USA and Japan, I travel back and forth several times a year. May passion and commitment to this vision continues to grow through Paper Connection; a resource for connecting artisan paper-makers, artists and those who are passionate about preserving and promoting all things paper!
washi, Japanese paper, Japan, Hatano, oiled paper, floor cloth, wallpaper Handmade, oiled paper by the talented Mr. Wataru Hatano - patterns inspired through the meeting of traditional and contemporary washi techniques.

My Visit To The RISD Library May 03 2012

Today, I was so very lucky to be invited to the RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) Library Special Collections archive in the Dale Reading Room. Professor Jan Baker, who has been teaching Book Arts in the Graphics Department for more than 30 years, pre-pulled some incredible "gems"(artists' books) especially for me and a young man from Japan studying at RISD on a one-year fellowship. Those that stood out for me most were: Karen Kunc's "Trace", Antonio Frasconi's "A Sunday in Monterey" and another book of his woodcut prints, Karli Frigge's "Alchemy & Marbling", Donna and Peter Thomas' "Paper from Plants "- a collection of US papermakers' sheets made from homegrown fibers, "Heisei no Shifu"- 3-volume boxed set of all washi; all of Japan's handmade papers- and I could go on and on... Needless to say, these special books are not to be circulated, and I can't show you...because no photographs allowed...(however, I will post photographs of "Heisei no Shifu" in another blog..since I own my own copy!) The encore or rather the 2nd and main reason for going to the RISD Library was to view the 30-year retrospective of Jan Baker's students' artists' books. Close to 1400 creative pieces in book form, all handmade, simply astounding. Something for everyone...I have to say being from Rhode Island, I related most to Suzzi Cozzens' (made when she was a student..she's now faculty) very large book about Rhode Island; made me LOL....(Don't worry....I did it quietly; this was a library...). Here's another blog written from a RISD insider.
The Potato Book