Apr 022012
 
 I’ve admired Washi Paper since the first time I saw it, before I knew what it really
was. The colors are deep and bright, sometimes harmonious, other times dramatically contrasting. Colors I normally wouldn’t bring together are found side by side, blending perfectly. The papers are silkscreened and expensive, starting at about $10 per 24″x38″ sheet; the most I’ve paid is $32 for a very special sheet. Some
people use washi to wrap gifts, and it is very popular for oragami because it folds nicely. There is nothing like it.

I first used Washi Paper to make the square grid cards I will soon add to this website.
I found it to be beautiful and very easy to work with. After a short time, I began collecting it. The main challenge at that point was the cost and the fact that I couldn’t find a place to purchase smaller pieces – every business I encountered sold it by the sheet. From time to time I indulged in a sheet, and I’d make a few
cards, taking care to save even the smallest lovely paper scraps. Some of my papers are over ten years old, and they look as lovely as the day I purchased them.

Cutting into the 24″x38″ sheets was very difficult at first because by themselves,
they are works of art. I finally took the plunge and cut my sheet collection into smaller more manageable pieces. Once that hurdle was behind me, I found it much easier to cut and use the papers. I started making larger grid pieces for matting and framing, such as the Freedom mosaic found on my 11″ x 14″ Washi Paper Mosaic Gallery. As I cut all those squares, I was left with a lot of tiny, beautiful scraps of Washi Paper, which I saved in a clear container. They were far too beautiful to throw away.

Once again, it was my good friend Susan who introduced me to the mosaic technique with
gold fine art glitter. I was immediately impressed with the way the gold glitter picked up the gold in the paper and highlighted the papers’ bright colors. As I experimented creating larger mosaic pieces, I found that the mosaics became more exquisite as they grew. I fell in love with the paper, the mosaic process and the
finished works. It brings me great joy to see others enjoying and appreciating them as much as I do.

As my love of the work grew, I began investing in more and more washi papers. I found
new suppliers with a myriad of patterns to choose from. It was difficult to narrow the vast number down to the number of papers I could afford! I now have between 250 and 300 different paper patterns. Since a mosaic takes a lot of small pieces, I am left with many larger pieces, which opened the door to playing with other
items to offer at fairs. The boxes and barrettes came from this  I plan to begin selling washi paper in smaller pieces on my website so that others can enjoy working with it without making such a huge investment.

  2 Responses to “Why Washi Paper?”

  1. I am so disappointed! I will not be able to attend your workshop on the 27th! Months ago, I signed up for another art class on the very same day! Keep me in the loop for the next one!
    Nancy

    • Hi, Nancy,

      I’ve heard from several people that they can’t make that date, so I am looking at May 25 as the next one. If you are interested in that one, please let me know. I will keep you on the “Advanced Notice” list for future workshops too.

      Thanks for your interest!

      Blessings,
      Debbie

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