Saskia Jetten discovers the joys of printmaking in three dimensions with Tengujo tissue.

Saskia Jetten first discovered Tengujo paper in Montreal while she was an artist in residence at Atelier/Galerie Alain Pirior, August 2012. Using this very inexpensive and lightweight machine made version of this amazing Japanese paper she has created collagraphs, dry points with chine colle and became inspired to return to paper to work in three dimensions.

"I was so fascinated by this delicate, yet strong paper that resembled thin fabrics like the silks and cottons on which i had been printing on previously. It made the transition clear to me to go back to paper as my printing surface but use it as if it was fabric. I started to experiment, to sew the Tengujo paper. I love the fact that it is transparent but not translucent. It prints great with stone lithograph, linocut, woodblock, dry point and collagraph. It is also great as a base for chine colle. As it is priced very attractively, I felt free to experiment and did not have to worry much about mistakes and spoiling paper".

"In this work, the Tengujo washi tissue makes up the clothing of these figures. The images resemble their true being; there is no body in the clothing. The imagery printed on the clothing refers to the figures facing their fears, their hide and seek, their anxieties".

A note about Tengujo: these papers come in both handmade and machine made sheets. The handmade Tengujo is 100% kozo and is only 10g all sheets are dyed with synthetic dyes. There is no white sheet. All sheets are approximately 21 x 31 inches. There is an inexpensive and popular machine made version. It is 12 g, 25 x 37 inches and comes only in white. It is made of 60% kozo and 40% abaca. It is almost impossible to tell the difference even with both sheets in your hand! Both are beautiful.

The talented Mr. Joseph Wu

In the western world we might think of origami as a small square piece of paper that one can turn into a crane. We might think of a children's folding game. As parents we might think origami would be good to help children follow instructions while keeping them occupied. We do not tend to think of inspired design, mathematics, architecture or therapeutic applications and certainly not vodka advertisements! Now we are thinking Joseph Wu!

But Joseph Wu knows all this and much more about origami's amazing applications and potential. He has been commissioned by advertising agencies throughout the world and his works have been thus published in magazines from Rolling Stone to Gourmet. 

Wu's latest inspiration is the kirigami technique which is paper cutting and he told us he is having lots of fun with it. In fact, it seems Wu has a lot of fun no matter what he is making. He started doing origami when he was 3 and made his first original design at 11, its no surprise it was an X-wing fighter from Star Wars. If you want to meet Joseph and other like minded creators you can head over to a group called PALM that meet monthly. Besides the immense talent and originality of Wu's original origami works his sense of community and sheer enjoyment of sharing the pleasures of origami is heart warming. Find him on Instagram and Facebook too.

Frame up our Amazing papers for your walls.

Could it be time to refresh your walls? No one wants the same old stuff in the same old place all the time! As the seasons change we get inspired to mix it up.

It couldn't be simpler with our amazing papers. Get yourself some one size fits all frames, Ikea is a good source, and pop these babies in them. Here, we are showing a few of our Chiyogami papers from Japan. These papers are traditional patterns but have a very contemporary feel to them. They look amazing with a wide mat and simple frame.

For the kitchen, the entrance or office, the kids room, and don't forget the bathroom! The average price of these papers is under 7.00 ! So, as the seasons change, and you want a different look, simply use the paper to wrap up some gifts and pop some new ones in! We are always bringing in new papers from all over the world. Have some fun as your own Interior Designer!

Collage in Printmaking : fun, simple and very effective!

Add color and texture easily with layering a variety of our decorative and handmade papers to your art. We continue with our series exploring artists working with paper or paper as art. Denise Carson WIlde's inventive and bold etchings from a series made in 1997 entitled "Marshes Library" uses various Nepalese and Thai papers to provide dimension of form and diversity to only one image. Each print stands out yet each print has a slightly different feel.

Denise Carson Wilde has used an archival PVA glue sold at Paper-Ya, that is often used for bookmaking. This type of glue provides flexibility and strength. The glue has shown itself to have absolutely no issues. But as in most artwork it is direct sun light and humidity that will alter your work. So be careful with displaying  and storing your art!

Collage or varied editions can be a free wheeling way to make images. Tearing the papers, letting the deckle edges show and layering a wide variety of papers can easily give your work a tactility and lively feel. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy yourself!

The Magic of Marbelling

Painting on water is magical! Floating colors of pigmented inks on water creates a vast possibility of patterns. Traditional methods go back hundreds of years. Marblers made gorgeous decorative end papers for books and art pieces incorporating calligraphy which stand on their own throughout Asia, Turkey and the Western world.

Above are a few of our hand marbled papers from Italy. These use a freeform pattern creating a loose aqueous feel in soft hues and golds. Below is a video, not to be missed! The artist Seyit Uygur creates marbled images that are highly unique and works of art on their own. 

Manipulating color on the surface of the water, using methods as blowing through a straw, pushing and pulling with pins, bamboo, even hair or simply fanning the water aids in making a unique statement. Below are our marbled momogami papers from Thailand. These papers are soft and incredibly strong. More recently we have seen them used as wall papers and collage.

The Beautiful Art of Calligraphy: Getting Started

Calligraphy and Design by Fox and Flourish | Invitation, envelope liner, wax seal from Paper-Ya, flowers by Celsia Floral | Photo by Tahnee Sanders

Calligraphy has a rich and beautiful history and is considered to be one of the world's oldest forms of writing.  V. Lazursky describes it as "a kind of music not for the ears, but for the eyes." It allows you to paint words across a page and bring a new layer of meaning to the text. With all the styles out there in this art form, it can be quite daunting to try to learn!  

Starting calligraphy takes investment in the right tools, some patience, and lots of practice. Beginning with a simple dipping pen, ink (we have plenty of scrumptious colors to choose from!) and a few different nibs is a great starter kit. 

There are many different sources to help you figure out where to begin, so don't worry! Books, video tutorials, and our newest edition of the Uppercase Magazine can all help you figure out what style you'd like to experiment in.

Christina Luo, calligraphy and lettering artist based in Vancouver and creative mind behind Fox and Flourish, gives this piece of advice, "Find a class or workshop (either in-person or online) that teaches the style of calligraphy that you are drawn to. There are so many different subsets: copperplate, spencerian, gothic, blackletter, and of course the more modern takes on pointed pen. Once you learn how to use the tools properly, work on mastering that alphabet, and once you feel confident in the consistency of your letterforms, continue to add our own style."  Christina offers workshops for modern pointed pen calligraphy in Vancouver. 

Above are just a few examples of the beautiful things you can create with paper, pen, and ink. There are so many reasons to love calligraphy, and when asked why she loves the art form, Christina said, "That moment when the ink is still drying onto the paper, and afterwards, how you can run your fingers across the words and physically feel what was just written mere minutes ago. I'm drawn to the ephemeral and nostalgic quality of it, but as a graphic designer by trade, I think it's so amazing that we can take these handwritten words and create digital copies of them for my other paper- based love, the art of print!" 

Calligraphy can be used to personalize a gift, create party invitations, commemorate a special event and so much more. It truly is a stunning art form! Visit us soon, and get started.

Our new handmade Indian papers await you!

These new and very cool Indian handmade papers hang on the racks at the store waiting for your ideas. Gorgeous metallics in bronzes and golds printed on thick natural fibers. Click thru the slide show and enjoy the colors and the quirky and sophisticated designs.

Think of using as wall paper for a zap of style on one wall in an entrance or hall way! Get bold and have some fun.