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2023 All New Paper Pastiche December 21 2022

In July 2022, we launched Paper Pastiche, our monthly subscription service.

We aim to bring paper samples to your door in manageable sizes - for the maker, experimenter, artist, crafter, engineer, and imagineer, who want curated artisan paper samples without the whole-sheet price. The opportunity to experience colors, weights, folding, cutting, and sculpting - Characteristics in easy-to-handle sizes. We immediately got takers, which was so cool! Last month we asked subscribers how we were doing and got great feedback on what they'd like to see plus social media coverage on what folks are making. So many said, 'bring us bigger pieces to play with!'

We heard you!

So let's head into the New Year and turn another page.
Paper Pastiche now comes in 7.5 x 10 in. and 5 x 7.5 in.
8 pieces of beauty, texture, weight, and intrigue. LOVE IT and Sarah Dunn, our amazing packaging maven, and artist. Sarah's design eye is absolutely stunning. We continue to bring new inspirations to you every month and we adore seeing your creations. If you'd like to share with our bigger community let us know.

Best to all, Fricka

Want to sign up?

Wind Up to Wind Down February 23 2021

Creative Break

Wind up chicken originally found on Etsy
Take a reprieve from the world. Each day - to un-stick. Encourage others. In fact, set the example and make a "Zoom" field trip to a gallery during lunch. Bring your friends along. See what others have done/are doing. It will yield wonderful results as you take a break and get out of your head. Guaranteed! You'll be doing "the sushi" from plastic nico before you know it!

Mimi King: Appreciative Evolution August 10 2020

Cups of Cheer: Proceeds support Feed More, an non-profit providing healthy options to anyone with limited food access.
Paper Connection was thrilled to catch up with Mimi King as her career evolves with new projects soon-to-be announced on Mimi's Instagram.

A Deep Love for Slow Processes, Strength of Commitment, and Lifting the Community

Mimi's work sparks joy while raising money to support BIPOC (Black and Indigenous Person/People of Color) and those experiencing food insecurity.
Cups of Cheer "tea bag" - up front and center!

Q+A

PCI: Mimi, how would you define what you do? MK: I am a printmaker and analog collage artist, I use a combination of intaglio, monotype, and fabric. PCI: Can you share insights into your process and current studio projects? MK: There are always about ten different projects going at once to allow space to think through each piece and keep myself active. One of my core beliefs is that we as individuals cannot rise unless we use our skills, time, and/or money to lift our community. To that end, I’m working on a couple of projects to support communities in need. The Cups of Cheer Project is a collection of small gampi “tea bags” filled with recycled cotton fabrics which can be used as bookmarks or framed wall art. 80% of proceeds go to Feed More, an organization providing food to anyone who doesn’t have access to healthy options. Once a month, I auction an original collage on a cradled board, donating 80% of proceeds to Girls For A Change, who “empower young women to design, lead, fund, and implement social change in their own neighborhoods”. I plan to expand this further in the future, so I can support more organizations like these.
The Order of Hypnales, XI
Strawberry Lemonade
PCI: Can you speak about your life trajectory and influences that brought you to this place in your artwork and/or creating your current works? MK: Growing up in a working class family prepared me for the print studio more than I ever thought. I stepped into printmaking with an ethic of not shying away from hard work and the understanding to take the time to do something right yields far better results than simply focusing on efficiency and speed. From soaking the paper, to mixing the ink, working in the print studio teaches one to appreciate the process. I've always admired the richness of the arts and culture of Japan, especially coming from a country less than 250 years old. Studying abroad in Hamamatsu and the Kansai region will always be one of my most treasured life experiences. One fall pottery class, my professor reminded me many times to go slowly, to enjoy the learning process. “少しずつ, 少しずつ” (sukoshizutsu, sukoshizutsu, little by little, slowly), he’d say throughout the day, something I tell myself when I hurtle full-on into a new technique. The dedication to craft, to learning a skill gradually and correctly is a Japanese practice I am continuously building into my studio practice. Nearsightedness has played a large role in the way I view the world. I lean in, hold things close to my eyes, seek out the nuances of a leaf, a flower, a brick wall, moss. I create tiny details in my work as a way of sharing the joy I feel daily when my world moves from impressionism to clarity using visual aids. PCI: Which artist/people in your life most influenced and inspire you and in what way? MK: Both of my parents are very artistically minded, my dad is a fabricator and inventor, he can make anything. Whenever I have a building project or concept for a new way of presenting a piece, he’s the first person I talk to. My mom taught me many of the tricks I still use to draw landscape elements; I remember asking her to “help me make it look real” because I didn’t like the way we drew trees in kindergarten. “Broccoli trees” just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t really approach art seriously until I reached university. I have Tanja Softic, my former printmaking professor, to thank for my printing skills and love of paper. She teaches me so much, constantly. We have very different printmaking styles, but whenever I help print one of her editions, I’m thinking the entire time of how I can implement aspects of the way she builds up images. The way I layer prints with hand coloring and collage really comes from watching her chine collé and collaging elements onto finished prints, especially chiyogami pieces. PCI: Can you describe the importance of paper in your work and what type of paper (medium) you use most? MK: Paper is a truly remarkable substrate - it is lightweight, easy to store and transport, it can be soft, hard, molded, dyed, drawn/printed on. Paper offers me a freedom other mediums do not as readily. If a piece isn’t satisfactory, I can slip it in a drawer for a while, pull it out, cut it up, and use it as an element of another collage. I most often reach for Japanese papers, gampi for its translucency and wonderful way of holding ink on the surface. It is ideal for lightweight building and handles watercolor very well. Chiyogami, yuzen, and katazome are wonderful for collage, the pops of color and weight differences lend well to creating depth in collage. While I’ve been playing with the contrasts between cotton fabrics and paper recently, I will always come back to paper.
Melon Kakigori
Hanabi Kakigori
Butterfly Pea Kakigori
PCI: Can you talk about your interest in collage vs straight up printmaking techniques? Can you reflect within your work and beyond? MK: My use of collage came about as a way to undermine my inner critic, who is always quick to remind me that I “can’t draw”. If I “draw” through collage though, I’m not actually drawing and find myself better able to translate the form of the object from 3D to 2D. I also began using collage at a time when I couldn’t access the print studio with the aquatint boxes or etching baths. Now, I use collage to build layer, depth, shadow, texture - it’s a tool that enhances straight up printmaking techniques. This gives me the freedom to build an image and explore the physicality of paper. Japanese papers, due to their strength and translucency, have been perfect for delving into this concept further. One of the first things I notice when looking at the leaves of a tree or petals of a flower is their translucency in light and the shadows created when they overlap one another. Especially with a paper like gampi, the translucency of the paper once one or more layers of transparent ink is on it, really lends itself to layering. PCI: Are there any particular papers from Paper Connection that you can speak about, perhaps providing tips for usage or handling, and insights of the paper’s integrity and quality, etc. ? MK: I’ve never been disappointed by any of the papers I’ve ordered from Paper Connection! I highly recommend Usuyou Gampi, Kozo, Gampi, “Kitakata”, and Aiko’s Honen with sizing. I’ve used all but the Honen for monotype and etching, they handle the ink incredibly well. A number of student printmakers I’ve worked with have expressed a hesitancy over the seeming fragility of gampi, but the strength of the fibers is incredible if you respect the paper. I recommend using an archival film adhesive called Gudy O once prints have fully dried for collaging or in place of chine collé. Gudy O is fantastic because it doesn’t discolor the print and will actually increase the transparency of gampi. It also doesn’t lose its stickiness when I hand color prints, which I only begin after I’ve backed the paper with Gudy O. PCI: Are there particular questions that no one has asked with regards to your creative process, philosophy, or recent experience you’d like to share? MK: This is the first time I’ve been asked about my use of collage. Recently I was asked why I choose to cut by hand the tiny pieces of the moss etching in The Order of Hypnales series that I’ve been working on this year. Why not use a laser cutter or have a machine cut each piece out perfectly for me? My hands, my mind, my eyes are not machines, I am not perfect. If one looks closely, they can see that all my collages are cut by hand. My work is about understanding the world around me and the way my mind, hands, and eyes interpret it. Accepting and incorporating the imperfection of my handiwork is important to my artwork.
Flowers of Mara details
Flowers of Mara
PCI: One last question: If you could have a conversation with any artist present or past, who would it be? MK: Oh, this is such a difficult question! There are many incredible artists alive right now I want to speak with, and so many in the past who didn’t write their own history that I'd like to speak with. It would be amazing to have a one-on-one conversation with Danielle Krysa, the Jealous Curator, as a fellow collage artist, she’s had so many wonderful conversations with other artists. Listening to her podcasts have been incredibly uplifting and encouraging, particularly when I’ve been in deep places of doubt as a visual artist. All images thanks to Mimi King! Mimi will be having a studio sale on Instagram August 17-21 so check it out! - fricka a.i.r. – our papers help tell your story

Warehouse Wednesday: Jane LOVES HK-0024! February 20 2019

https://youtu.be/Sna9NyZJttY This handmade kozo (paper mulberry) paper is extra long and a great value for its large size. It certainly can be used for most any printmaking technique, as well as backing support for large artwork. Because its unusual size, it has been used in repair of antique folding screens. Hailing from the Kochi area of Japan, Otoshi is one of the many Tosa Washi (paper from Kochi) we carry. The papermakers in Kochi (formerly Tosa Kingdom), have been crafting paper, using traditional methods practiced for countless generations. Measures 29.5 x 56 inches; 33 g/m² https://shop.paperconnection.com/products/kozo-otoshi-handmade-white-very-long-kozo-33g Watch the papermaker in action!

Washi in My Everyday Life November 30 2018

washi ningyo, printmaking, kakishibu, unryushi Streaming sunshine illuminates this handmade print on kakishibu dyed unryu paper - illustrating the warmth and translucency of washi. Washi ningyo (paper doll) kimono on right.
Part 2 – Wonderful Washi
Richard Flavin, Ryoko Haraguchi, Sind, Tokyo, kakishibu stitched kaikshibu washi shoulder bag by Richard Flavin and Ryoko Haraguchi.
While washi (Japanese paper) is a long-lasting Japanese traditional craft, how it became an important part of Japanese culture is almost forgotten even by most Japanese. In thinking about washi's role in etiquette, social rituals, and some possibly overlooked utilitarian uses, in this post, I want to show you some of my personal selection of everyday paper items , as well as paper objects I see everyday outside.
knitted paper, paper yarn, shifu, paper thread, paper shawl Knitted paper shawl used as a curtain, allows filtering of light and provides a subtle screen of privacy.
Of course, there are endless applications for paper in the Western world; like its use in thinks book or art conservation, book arts, calligraphy, printmaking, painting, collage and so on. However, there are also those strictly Japanese paper arts, which are fairly well-known to the average modern day Japanese. For example, shōdo (Japanese style calligraphy),
money envelopes with noshi
chigiri-e, landscape, paper painting, paper collage Chigiri-e landscape.
chigiri-e (paper-tearing collage),and washi ningyo (paper dolls). Shōji and fusuma (sliding doors in Japanese style rooms) are quite common home interior components used everyday. Ritualistic uses of paper seen every day in daily life in Japan. Omikuji or horoscope papers tied to a branch or wooden stand.
omikuji, horoscope, superstition, Japanese life Omikuji or paper horoscope tied to a wooden stand on temple grounds. Photo take Sept, 2018
gohei, kamisama, shintoukyou, tohoku gohei (zig zag shaped papers) representing god, with rope (shimenawa) around old, red cypress tree. Photo taken Sept. 2018
Gohei hung from a shimenawa (rope) in this case around an ancient and sacred red cypress tree. Reminiscent of Miyazaki's Tonari no Totoro background scenes, yes? Washi , as you can tell, is one of my first loves in the realm of paper. My relationship with washi grew more intimate after moving to Japan in the 1980's, attempting to immerse myself in the Japanese culture and language. I came to learn that washi's inherent beauty exudes special powers of joy to those who use it. More than 50 years of collecting ephemera, close to 30 years of selling washi ; (now via Paper Connection), and working with the endearing papermakers in Japan, has lead me to this state of chronic washi-on-the-brain. Washi is part of my daily life both physically and emotionally and I really don't mind at all!

Our Paper World: Origata August 30 2018

Paper Wrapping as Ritual

Although no longer an inexpensive wrap, receiving and giving a gift wrapped in washi, no doubt, evokes for paper lovers a seductive charm. For the Japanese, washi carries a deeper meaning; simply touching it resurrects nostalgic thoughts of the old days.

Cash, either in the form of paper bills or coins, is a gift given on so many occasions in Japan; New Year's, coming of age, weddings, funerals, and births. It is proper etiquette to present money at all times enclosed in an envelope, the okane ire. Due to this ingrained aspect of Japanese culture, there are an abundant variety of money envelopes sold in Japan.
Money envelope decorated with "noshi" (upper right) and intricate paper thread knot. (Collection of Lauren Pearlman)
Noshi is an asymmetrical, diamond-like folded shape attached to gifts to express good wishes. Originally, noshi were made of white paper folded with a strip of dried abalone for good luck. There are various rules of etiquette surrounding noshi depending on the occasion. The noshi is generally placed in the upper right-hand side of a parcel or money envelope and always made from white paper. Paper is a fine layer of polite distance between giver and receiver, in other words, handing something directly (unwrapped) to someone is considered rude. Taking the time to wrap something implies the item within is a gift from the heart. Here is a great description of the history of Origata from the MET: "Since ancient times in Japan, decorative wrapping paper was a part of formal gift-exchange rituals, and knowledge of the art of paper folding (origata) was an essential skill of aristocrats and highranking warriors. The origins of origata can be traced to the Heian period (794–1185), when several styles ofwrapping were developed, including that for poetry, money, and fans. With time several schools of paper wrapping were formed, including, most prominently, the Ogasawara School. Techniques were taught exclusively through oral transmission. By the Edo period, origata became prominent even among commoners." ©https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/78428 also see: http://origata.com/

Hikkake Echizen Magic August 15 2018

Echizen papers' exquisite sheen and patterning!
Echizen washi comes to us from Fukui Prefecture, a very famous paper-making area in western Japan. It is a region that is most recognized for production of Japan's notable paper currency. Echizen Washi is a special collection of paper with a sheen. Hikkake, the brocade-like patterns on surface of some of the Echizen papers are created by using a hand-soldered, large, metal watermark screen dipped in mitsumata fiber and then couched on a heavier base sheet. The pattern is literally like a smooth pulp painting that binds to the surface.
echizen, rice paper, washi, japanese paper, watermark, patterned paper Simple invitation card becomes super special printed on echizen washi.
The sheen of the mitsumata fiber emphasizes the patterns. These subtle and elegant papers are amazing for creating wedding invitations, gift cards and book arts.

Check out this fun link to a map of the Echizen washi production areas!


Sugikawashi! June 21 2018

Paper Connection Founder and President, Lauren Pearlman Sugita describes the exquisite paper, Sugikawashi! Check it out here: Sugikawashi

Dec. 25th ONE DAY SALE December 24 2017

yuzen, katazome, chiyogami, Japanese patterns

MERRY CHRISTMAS! On December 25th, use code YUZEN3 on our online shop at checkout, for 33% off your #yuzen #katazome order of $60 and more, today only! Discount applies only to selected yuzen/katazome papers. Orders to be shipped after Jan. 2, 2018.

Meet PJ Bergin; Hanji's Newest and Biggest Fan November 14 2017

Hanji or Korean paper is one of our most popular handmade papers. Hanji is used in a traditional craft called joomchi, a kind of felting of different paper sheets together to create a wonderful effect; organic shapes in rich colors spring to life from an otherwise flat sheet of paper. Hailing from Colorado, PJ Bergin has feasted her eyes and hands on hanji, springing her inspiration and creative talents to life, with this paper. We have yet to meet PJ in person, but we enjoy corresponding and had the pleasure to get to know her via this interview. We know you will too: PCI: Please tell us a bit about your background, and what kind of artwork you do. PJ: Since I can remember, creating objects and items to wear with textiles and other types of fibers has been an innate obsession. I started making clothes for my dolls and myself about the age of 5. After graduating from FIT in Manhattan, I started and grew a successful business installing European Wall Upholstery that took up a lot of my early adult life. Designing and working with my hands came easily to me and a passion. I am now full time studio artist, since selling the business 10 years ago. My first medium was felt and now, for the past two years, am focusing on Korean mulberry paper, also called hanji.
SERIES 2016-2
courtesy of PJ Bergin
PCI: Your background in textiles and your interest in hanji is quite interesting. What inspired you to work with paper? PJ: The medium of Hanji continues to let me work with my hands by shaping and fusing it. Getting my hands “in the goods” is an important part of the creative process for me. Also, I was looking for a fibrous surface that was smooth enough for painting. I can do this on Hanji. PCI: When were you introduced to Korean paper? PJ: I attended a workshop with Jiyoung Chung in 2015. PCI: She is such a pioneer for Hanji and Joomchi, which we hope you can elaborate on. When and where did you learn Joomchi and what are some of the challenges you encounter? PJ: The workshop with Jiyoung Chung opened many doors for me with the technique of Joomchi and facets of mulberry paper. There are some similarities to working with the paper and my previous experiences with wool. The paper also reacts well when wetted to fuse different layers and colors. This technique, called “Joomchi” creates various texture and dimensions. The new challenge while working with the Hanji is that when it is wet it is quite fragile. Caution is the key when starting out on a new piece.
PJ's Process:
PCI: Please describe your process and how handmade paper is involved. PJ: I usually have a particular effect, or plan for the finished artwork before I begin. To that result I cut the Hanji in different colors, and arrange the pieces in the pattern that is pleasing to my eye. After much scrutiny to the design and layout, I start to get the hanji wet to the fusing process. Sometimes the fusing process can go quickly, other times, depending on the design, it can take longer. After the pieces are fused, I can begin to scrunch the entire piece for texture and visual interest. This is the beauty of working with hanji. PCI: What are some of the characteristics of Hanji that enable you to achieve the desired results you have in mind? Why do you like it as your go-to paper? PJ: As described above, hanji lets me, as the artist, manipulate it and control the process. The colors will sometimes blend together during the fusing process to create new colors. This is usually unplanned (not controlled!), but lends even more depth and interest to the finished artwork.
PJ Bergin Series 2016, courtesy of PJ Bergin
PCI: Are there any comparisons to textiles and fabric? PJ: I have a lot of experience working with textiles. In my opinion, there is not much similarity with Hanji to textiles. I think this is one of the reasons I am enjoying working with it so much. There are so many areas of new discovery! It is very different from the mediums I have worked in terms of creativity and flexibility.
PJ & PCI
PCI: How has Paper Connection helped you navigate through this world of kozo or dak paper, (mulberry paper), hanji, and other Eastern papers? PJ: Lauren and all those who work at Paper Connection have been very helpful to me as I build my studio career with Hanji and the Joomchi technique. Whether it is a time when I am looking for a particular color of the hanji or have a question about the texture of a certain paper, there is always someone who will take the time to speak with me. It is easy to navigate the Paper Connection web site to find papers I want.
Color Series #1, 2017
courtesy of PJ Bergin
PCI: Thank you so much, we enjoy helping out any way we can! What handmade paper would you recommend for fellow colleagues or students who are in your field and why? PJ: The hanji and kozo papers come in a wide variety of colors and are great to work with. They are very versatile. I also find many very lightweight and sheer papers easy to fuse onto the hanji, even though they are not made from the mulberry fiber. PCI: What advice would you give to fellow paper and/or fiber artists who may be just starting out? PJ: Have a lot of perseverance and patience. Believe in what you are doing and listen to your own mind. Set goals and do your best to keep them. PCI: That is so true, and much appreciated. We hope novices take it to heart, no matter what age it is that one starts! Our famous question, if you could choose any artist to have over for dinner and conversation, who would you choose and why? PJ: This is an easy answer for me. My guest will be El Anatsui. He is the artist who lives and works in Nigeria and makes large, dynamic tapestry from disused bottles caps and other remnant pieces of metals. The metal pieces are then connected with wire into the tapestry that shine and glow like large jewels. Each one is fascinating, with its own character and different from the last. I can spend hours looking at them. His work is inspiring to me because this is the goal I have for my work. Each time a person looks at one of the joomchi pieces I create with the mulberry paper, I want the person to see something new. Either it is because of the way the light is hitting the artwork or because of the unique nuance of the mulberry paper itself. PCI: PJ, we love it. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our paper questions. We hope to meet you in person.
courtesy of PJ Bergin
Check out PJ's blog to see what's she working on now. Follow PJ Bergin's Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more information and inspiration.