January 7, 2014 § Leave a comment
Outdoor weddings don’t require a lot decoration when the location provides the beauty and atmosphere we could never dream of being able to create ourselves through rustic pines, ocean views and mountains fading in the horizon. For our reception on Bowen Island, BC, we just wanted to add a few special touches to the natural beauty that was already there and of course, it had to be hand-made.
I had seen beautiful mobiles of paper cut into different shapes and sewn together at my favourite store on Granville Island, Paper-ya. I looked at them and I declared, as so many crafters have before me, I could make that! So began hours of cutting out hearts from patterned paper and sewing them together. On thing that saved some time was that I found some antique gold heart foils which were basically all ready to be sewed. That was just one of the kinds of items I found for crafting at this great shop called Urban Source on Main st. They have all sorts of left over industrial bits that can be repurposed or up-cycled.
Inside the clubhouse, the walls were well-rustic, but just needed a little adornment. Dan and I love maps, (who doesn’t?!) and I found a vintage collection of global maps in Salvation Army. I ripped out map after map and folded them into fans, then taped the fans together to form a full circle which could then be hung on the walls. The great part was that the antiquated colours of the maps went perfectly with the kinds of colours we were using throughout the wedding 🙂 Loved it.
March 22, 2011 § 2 Comments
In Fukui prefecture of Japan, where I have lived for almost two years now, there is a paper village called Echizen. In Echizen paper village, there are many artisans who make the various kinds of traditional Japanese paper called washi. I have gone there many times since I first came to Japan to make paper and also to learn how to use the paper to make other things, last class we learned how to make books!
Washi is a great product, as it uses fewer chemicals than other methods of paper making, but in order to prevent bacteria from decomposing the paper fibers, it is usually done with very cold water. Traditionally it was a way for farmers to make money during the winter time. The most common plant fiber used is Kozo. This plant grows very quickly and can be harvested annually. After being processed and some colour added, this is what the fiber looks like:
Then, to make the paper, the pulp is mixed with water and usually neri (a kind of binding agent from tororo plant). The mix is poured out onto a screen. To even out the paper, the screen is usually shaken. Then it is air or sun dried.
Above is a picture of two pieces of mine drying in the spring sunshine.
In Fukui Prefecture, the Echizen Paper Village is well known for it`s washi making. Many artisans live there and make paper year-round.
My friend, Rina, has been working there since 2000. She does washi classes and tries to promote washi paper making in Japan and internationally. This is her website: http://www.echizenwashi.jp/english/index.php. To the right is a picture of her with her sensei. He likes to visit her classes and make sure things are going well. Her site has information on classes in the area, and local artisans. I hope to participate in at least one more washi class before I leave this summer.