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Crinkling Paper Techniques FAQs & some paper vocab March 21 2024

Not all crinkled paper is made the same..... and not all crinkled paper is referred to in quite the same way. What does "momigami" refer to? The word "momi" literally means "crinkled" or "kneaded"- It's a descriptor for the following noun "kami" or "gami" (as a suffix) meaning "paper". In Japanese "shi" is also used a suffix meaning "paper". "Momu" is the verb "to knead" in Japanese. There is hand-crinkled paper, typically using "the one-fist-at-a-time" method. That's how we crinkled this heavyweight marbled kōzo paper for facemasks we sewed on a sewing machine. The sheets became softer and more fabric-like the more we crinkled them. The masks were quite comfortable on one's face; the paper was soft for the skin. The image below shows our vintage Momi Kōzo Papers recently added to our shop. The more fancy metallic version are now up on our shop too: Fancy Momi Kōzo Papers. These 2-ply papers are crinkled and dyed on the "front" side, and also have a flat (un-crinkled), white backing. Here's a little video of crinkling paper mask crinkling Absolutely any paper can be crinkled, and can be called "momigami". However, in the world of washi (Japanese paper), we typically see momigami made with a large dyed piece of kōzo paper sometimes known as "mingeishi'. When washi is creped with a tool (instead of the hand) then the paper is referred to as creped in English, however, Japanese it can still be referred to as "momi-something". For example above here is an image of "momi chiyogami" or chirimen- gami . chirimen (creped) gami or kami for paper. Momi chiyogami is crinkled or creped with a straight bar tool; using a tool like a stick or bar, allows you to crinkle or crepe paper a little more evenly; like image above. Above is a before and after photo of turning regular wrapping paper into a creped paper by using a large, traditional, very analogue creping process. What does "kyōseishi" refer to? Kyōseishi = Momigami with starch. In this case, "kyōsei" means "strengthened". The correct word for to refer to a paper both crinkled and starched with konjac or konnyaku is kyōseishi or sometimes "kamiko" if made into large extended lengths of kyoseishi. The photo above depicts a beautiful pillow made out of kyōseishi. Here's a little video on the toughness of kyōsei We also have these gorgeous starched papers covered with gold leaf dust- they are called Kindeishi or (kin) "gold" (dei) "mud" (shi) "paper": in English their nickname is "muddy gold paper". They are basically very starched kyōseishi with gold leaf dust. What is "joomchi" ? Is an ancient Korean craft and the best translation is felted paper, but instead of felting with soap, which one would use with wool, only water and good quality kōzo paper is necessary. Image below depicts the craft of joomchi. Click here for more of our blog posts related to joomchi.
MORE PAPER VOCAB! The word "kōzo" is the Japanese word for the paper mulberry fiber made from what is known in English as the paper mulberry bush or (Broussonetia papyrifera).
The Korean word is "cham dak".
The word "hanji"' is the word for paper hand-crafted in Korea.
The majority of hanji happens to be made from paper mulberry fiber.

Hanji In The House! April 11 2013

Hanji! Hanji!
You knew we now stock hanji at Paper Connection; right? For all those who can't wait to try this handmade, mulberry paper from Korea, we are happy to provide hanji in a vast array of colors. We have been inspired and influenced by world renowned hanji artists, such as Ms. Jiyoung Chung , author of the book, Joomchi & Beyond, experts and Ms. Aimee Lee, author of Hanji Unfurled. Their passion and expertise has truly educated us in explaining the benefits of this paper to our eager customers. Strong, handmade hanji can be wonderfully woven, tugged, and transformed into amazing sculptural pieces, from clothing to bowls, to fibrous, organic installations that take a life of their own. Ms. Aimee Lee teaches hanji sheet formation, and other hanji paper arts. In fact, she is on her way back to Providence, RI to teach a workshop through Brown University's Watts Program/JCB Library: Charles H. Watts II History and Culture of the Book Program, this Saturday, April 13th, however, the workshop filled up immediately, there is a waiting list though; for your reference check out this link . In conjunction with the April 13, 2013 workshop provided by Ms. Aimee Lee, Paper Connection International's warehouse/showroom will be open from 10am-2pm on Saturday, April 13. Since we are not open to the public, this is a great opportunity to obtain conservation-quality, 100% mulberry papers from Korea, or "hanji". Paper Connection is located at 166 Doyle Ave., 2nd Floor, Providence, RI (diagonally across from the East Side YMCA). Parking available on left side of parking lot in front of building. Call 401.454.1436 for more information.

Artist of the Month: Arlene McGonagle March 14 2013

March has been a very busy month for us. We have been planning for the upcoming Southern Graphics Conference, a printmaking love fest that this year is being held in Milwaukee. So printmaking methods have been in our minds, maybe a bit too much. What papers are best for lithos? Is gampi good for chine colle? , etc. (The answer, by the way, is yes, yes and yes.) However, to take a break from the wonderful world of printmaking, we turn our attention to a different, if not extraordinary application of our papers, by Arlene McGonagle. We have known Arlene for many years; she is a very faithful, loyal supporter of Paper Connection. And we love her unique approach to transforming our sheets of papers into something three dimensional, and even poetic. We will let her explain.
Layered, by Arlene McGonagle Layered
PCI: Tell us a little bit about yourself: What kind of artwork do you do? AM: I make baskets – one of a kind sculptural baskets. I have been a traditional basket maker since 1980. I grew up on a produce farm in Hadley, Massachusetts. Baskets were part of our harvesting process in which our vegetables were all harvested using different basket styles. As a young person I was not aware of my passion for baskets, but I do believe growing up on a farm gave me the knowledge for the functional construction aspects of basket weaving. PCI: What or who has influenced and inspired you? AM: After making functional Nantucket and Shaker baskets for fifteen years I needed a methodology in which to become more creative in my personal form of expression. So I returned to college entering The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in the Fiber Arts and Textile Design Department for a Masters Degree. As a result my work and materials changed overnight. The Fiber Arts Department encouraged us to use different and unusual materials from barks to wire and everything in-between. PCI: What attracts you to working with paper? AM: The wide variety of texture in paper, I felt the more texture the better in the paper I use. The paper reminded me of the barks, woods, and reeds I had used in the traditional basketry process. However, the paper I chose was colorful with intricate designs and flexible without soaking it in water. It was also gentler on my hands and easier to weave. PCI: That's great, especially for your hands' health too! What do you like best about working with paper? AM: For me it’s all about texture and color. I love the thick kyosei-shi paper because it reminds me of fabric. I have been working in neutral colors lately, but this paper allows me to go wild with color if the basket calls for color. I also love the mulberry, or kozo paper for its translucent and regal qualities. When words are written on this paper it adds a note of importance and strength. PCI: How did you hear about our company? AM: I had heard about Paper Connection for many years, but did not know it was open to the public. So I called one day and explained that I was a basket artist looking for special textured paper and made an appointment to stop in. PCI: Simple enough. We love your initiative. Did you have much knowledge about Japanese papers before using our papers? AM: I had no knowledge of Japanese papers whatsoever. I fell in love with the papers offered at Paper Connection and sometimes even designed the baskets around the available papers. I learned more about paper variety and function with each visit to Paper Connection. The vast knowledge of the staff and the wonderful stories Lauren would tell about the makers of the paper helped me to realize that the paper was almost sacred and that my designs had to live up to the value of the papers I purchased. PCI: Wow. We're so happy and grateful to hear that. What a testimony to the artistry of the papermakers themselves! What are some of the differences between our papers and others you have worked with? AM: I seem to keep going back to Kyosei-shi for most of my basketwork. It is physically strong and with a wide variety of colors. However, I can buy it in off-white and dye in the colors I need. I don’t know if I could dye other papers in a water bath. PCI: So to sum up? AM: I like kyosei-shi paper because it is strong and textured like fabric for my baskets; it is flexible and does not tear when I weave it with wire.
Basket Book by Arlene McGonagle Basket Book by Arlene McGonagle
PCI: Arlene, thank you so much. We love your work, we appreciate how you use these wonderful papers, the motivation behind it, and your generous support over the many years. u17 For more information about Arlene, please visit her website, Basket Sculpture. Her studio is located in beautiful Warren, RI. To read more about her work, Arlene was featured in the Fall 2012 issue of the National Basketry Organization. Article courtesy of Arlene McGonagle.

Paper Rock Stars November 09 2012

Have you ever considered yourself a superstar? A paper star, at least? I had the privilege of spending a week around the seasoned, paper legends as well as the new generation of paper stars at the Watermarks Conference, (the 2012 meetings for both Friends of Dard Hunter and IAPMA.) sponsored by and held at the Morgan Art Papermaking Consevatory & Educational Foundation, in Cleveland, Ohio. When I booked this trip, I wondered, what can I do in Cleveland for one week besides make, eat and dream paper? I realized that Cleveland, has Lake Eerie, a seriously well-deserved local pride and die-hard fans of their sports teams. Since I was still a little jetlagged, and the pre-conference workshop I signed up for hadn't started yet, my colleague said " why don't you go to the legendary Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame?" So I did.
Giant guitars outside of RRHF.
My reasons for going on this Cleveland Magical Mystery Tour, started becoming clearer while inside the RRHF. Not only did I get to learn so much about the history of the Rock n' Roll era, I was able to surround myself with (at least simulated versions of ) Rock Star Legends. The RRHF primed me for the rest of the entire week when I got to hang out with the Rock Stars of Paper; paper gurus and paper masters from all over the globe all came together in Cleveland, Ohio!
Tim with Carolina Larrera. Carolina is not only a Tim Barrett groupie, but Paper Rock Star from Chile.

Who Wrote the Book of Love, I mean washi?! Premier paper legend and MacArther Grant recipient, Mr. Tim Barrett of the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA did. His many fans want to have their photos taken with Mr. Barrett; ...dang, I didn't get a good one of me with him! tsk, tsk.

Asao Shimura mixes konnyaku with pigment.

There were so many Paper Rock Stars there...Mr. Asao Shimura who taught a 2-day workshop on konnyaku intaglio printing. Like waiting in line for tickets to the biggest concert of the year, I tenaciously waited for my spot in his class, and got it! Asao hasn't been stateside in years and he traveled from his home in the Philippines to teach in the US. I've been a fan for years, but finally got to meet him and take his workshop, with more of his fans.

Asao Shimura definitely marches to the beat of his own drummer, and we should thank him for it, as he trail-blazes in the world of paper arts, he teaches too, sharing his insight and skill with eager students. He's a soul man of a paper culture...(I've got rhythm, but I AM asking for more Paper Rock Star Fame!)

Aimee Lee: Young Paper Rock Star- crowd is starting to gather...
A fairly new talent in the group is Ms. Aimee Lee, now an author of a new book: Hanji Unfurled, One Journey into Korean Papermaking, I swear- when she walked into the room during my pre-conference workshop, a group of fans formed a circle around her; I heard "Aimee!, Aimee!" coming from the crowd. I was an Aimee Lee groupie before even seeing her live. I could catch on fairly quickly; I tried to blend in with group-playing the coy paperazzi. I am still very much part of Aimee Lee's fan club, and therefore so thrilled a host to her, while she's in New England promoting her new book via artist's talk, demo and workshop both in Boston, November 10th and Providence area, November 14th. Blood, Sweat, and Tears, may be a RRHF inductee, but have no doubt, the vatman or vatwoman produces blood, sweat and tears on a daily basis, as they toil and create paper with their two hands, keeping the art of handmade paper true, pure, and alive-ensuring that Papermaking is Here to Stay! At least at some level, I continue to aspire to Paper Rock Star status. When asked: “do you make paper?” I reply: "not exactly, but I am an agent, a promoter, a paper Shake, rattle and roller and total groupie of the Dardos!" Watermarks 2012 was more than about reuniting with friends and colleagues I haven't seen years, and more than about discovering new Paper Rock Stars. It was a week of Letting the Good Times Roll, a week of re-inspiration to continue down The Long & Winding Road to bring handmade paper to the likes of you. My Cleveland experience was the necessary step towards attaining Hall of Fame status or at least a couple of my own fans.. I am now determined more than ever to create a (paper) hit in my hometown of Providence. A really BIG hit. Thank you Watermarks 2012 , the Morgan and Cleveland ,OHIO!: you keep on rockin' me baby! For more photos, check out our FACEBOOK page for the Watermarks album. Don't forget to "like" us!

Joomchi! Everybody's talking about it! October 03 2012

Korea claims a unique and intriguing art called joomchi. How do you go about making joomchi? It's easier to try with your own hands than to explain in words...but here it goes. This is my beginner's understanding of the process: At least 2 layers of Korean mulberry paper, or hanji, are first wet, then, aggressively gripped, grabbed, stretched, and manipulated until the fibers are broken down and almost "felted" to your liking. Hours of aggravating the paper are expended, while possibly years of angst is relieved. A major transformation occurs; once flat sheets of paper become a very organic, leather-like, almost living form. No adhesives are used, however, natural dyes, pigments, other papers, fibers, and cloth can be "collaged" in to create a very special mixed media paper art. We learned that Japanese mulberry paper (kozo) works fine for making joomchi, as our colleague Barbara Green tested it. She used Paper Connection's senkashi (a heavy weight un-dyed kozo paper, traditionally used for clothing) and some vintage, pigmented kozo. I finally made it to the nearby Atrium Gallery in Providence to see one of their latest shows: Joomchi and Beyond, curated by Ms. Jiyoung Chung. I blogged briefly about Ms. Chung and her exhibit at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, last June, 2011. Subsequently, I was lucky enough to attend her workshop early spring 2012. Many of the works shown at the Atrium are part of Ms. Chung's fantastic book also entitled Joomchi and Beyond. Please see Jiyoung's book for photos of her method and process. She is a great teacher. For more photos of the show, click here. Another artist who works with hanji and creates joomchi is Aimee Lee.
I am this wall, 2009, by Aimee Lee
It is truly amazing when you think that no adhesives are used, and all the papers are transformed by hand technique alone. I love this use of natural persimmon juice by Aimee:
The squirrels arrived first, 2012, Aimee Lee, natural persimmon dye, hanji, paper yarn
Ms. Lee is just out with her new book Hanji Unfurled, which details her research and works on hanji. Can't wait to meet her in 2 weeks at the Morgan! Aimee is also planning a book signing tour in New England in November, thus I'm hoping she will come to Providence and Paper Connection, of course! Who's in for meeting Aimee Lee and talking paper?!?!

Tales From The Twin Cities, Part 1 June 16 2011

I just came back from my first visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and participated in in the Surface Design Association Conference for the very first time. The conference normally takes place in Kansas City, but this year it was in Minneapolis within the University of Minnesota East Campus. Within the massive University of Minnesota campus there is the Textile Center, art galleries, like the Regis and even a Frank Gehry building. Delving into the world of fiber arts was a bit of a side step for both me and Paper Connection. I thought : What's "in" in the fiber world? ; what the latest craze?... Around here in little Rhody, the Weaver's Guild members' interests have been peaked with making shifu...touched upon in a recent blog. See below. And over the years Paper Connection has had various fiber artist customers, who work mainly with paper- like paper quilters. Check out Lucinda Carlstrom's work; she's phenomenal. Only in the last couple months I have acquired a lovely book called "Paper Textiles", by Christina Leitner. Reading Ms. Leitner's book plus some other fiber art books from Japan, encouraged me to think deeper and attempt to round out my paper knowledge with the story of paper as a textile. Stitched, sewn, stapled or glued, for centuries paper has been made into cloth or has been part of textile. Just last week, while at the SDA conference, I learned about joomchi- the Korean art of paper felting. I can't get enough of Jiyoung Chung's joomchi pieces. Jiyoung lives in my town, Providence!, and she happened to be teaching at the SDA conference, and had her work exhibited at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Too many coincidences.
MCBA Joomchi by Jiyoung Chung
Looking back to last week, I have to say the first day was truly the highlight of the trip to the Twin Cities. Events planned for that first day was a staff meeting and evening presentation at Wet Paint: a very loyal, faithful, and consistent customer for years, located in St. Paul. Beth Bergman, the owner, and her wonderful staff was gracious to host me at the store, so I could introduce the techniques of hand-papermaking and paper textiles to a bunch of eager fiber artists via SDA conference, as well as to local, Wet Paint customers. The Wet Paint staff was not only interested in my paper-preach, but they are all very interesting and talented artists, who I wish I could have spent more time with. After the first day of my trip, I was quite fortunate to spend time with Ann Snowbeck, a buyer at Wet Paint, who is just a sweetie pie; most importantly... I realized she and I have the same (great) taste in accessories! More Twin City tales coming soon.