Sunday, 26 August 2018

Pressing business paper

Having let the paper post sit under boards with lightish weight overnight then next step was to put it in the big gun press
Big hydraulic paper press at Awagami Paper Factory
Once the water has finally been slowly squeezed out its time to separate the sheets and brush them onto drying boards and then into the drying room to dry
Flicking out a sheet onto the drying board

brushing down onto the board

what do you do while you are waiting fro paper to dry
take some dry paper and dye it (make it wet again!)
Mrs Fujimorisan shows us the way Orizome method
Shibori method
with real Indigo, which is quite smelly but worth it
for the lovely colour
Only limited by your folding technique and dye supply
washing the indigo dyed paper

using our hands to work the dye into the paper  
Of course you could always make a
book using your
paper for the leave and your dyed paper
 for the covers
Sensei demonstrates

Japanese style Binding with Orizome covers

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Food- keeping the papermakers fuelled

sharing a breakfast with papermakers from around the world
As usual I can't resist a few food photos and given the beauty of the plating and the oishi of the food............
dinner 1
breakfast 1

desert always oishi
dinner 2
another breakfast
and this is just a few of the wonderful meals we had at the Aburaya hotel whilst at the Awagami Paper workshop

Forming the Sheets of Kozo at last

Time so start and emulate Mr Fujimorisan to the best of our abilities.
Compared to my Western style paper making practice there are  few things to learn, the balance of pulp to neri, the substance that helps all the fibres separate and then line up with the shaking and rocking of the suketa ( Japanese mould and deckle)
There are 3 layers in forming a sheet of Japanese paper- even in the thinest sheets.
Transferring the sheets is from the Su straight onto the post with only a ribbon to help you separate them after pressing.
Arris my partner in paper making scooping up 
Take overseeing my sheet forming
everyone gets going Sensai overseeing the finer points
the post with its pretty ribbons
mixing the pulp after adding new fibre and neri

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The paper making continues at Awagami

Once the Kozo is cooked then it has to be cleaned, another painstaking process where attention to detail is all important. The the fibre is beaten with a mallet unit it floats like clouds in a dish of water.
The team at Awagami let us start our paper forming on some previously beaten pulp to get our hand in before forming our own hand beaten pulp into sheets. Remembering to breath and relax while forming sheets is an important point to hold close!
Sheet forming is different to the western method,  using the su keta allows you to make very beautifully fine paper .
emptying the cooker

Sensai beating Kozo Japanese style 
cleaning the fibre
Mr Fujimorisan demonstrates the correct method

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Shikoku and Awagami, let the paper making begin

The Tokyo to Tokushima flight was a treat, a window seat, not much cloud and lowish flying made for some good views of Japan. So much green, such tall mountains and deep gorges, loads of water; salty and fresh and so many golf courses!
                                                      Slow train ride up the valley to  the hotel 

where everyone who is participating in the workshop is staying. Lucky me got a traditional Japanese room, futon, tatami mats shoji screens and  of course traditional Japanese bathroom - onsen style. If the first dinner is anything to go by then Im definitely in for a treat.

Japan from the air.  Traditional room at the Aburaya inn Some of the dishes  from dinner

Next morning it was a leisurely start after breakfast off to Awagami in the mini bus, everyone is very excited

ready to strip
Orientation and meeting the Awagami crew, then we begin with the Kozo bark learning how to strip it, clean it and prepare it for cooking. Three hours later we have all almost cleaned half a kilo each. Everyone had decided that what we thought was an expensive price for kozo paper  is actually quite cheap, and we are all definitely ready for dinner and the Craigs lecture on Washi
stripping Kozo
stripped and ready to cook

one of the dinner dishes

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Tokyo today Awagami tomorrow

At 6 am when we landed at Tokyo Haneda airport it was already nearly 30 degrees and humid, on arrival at my Shinjuku Hotel I knew it was only going to get warmer so I opted to walk to the  Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in search of some cooling garden breezes (?).

The gardens are about 145 acres and only a block from the bustle of the multi storied Shinjuku department stores and station. Original part of an Edo Lords residence, it has been an agricultural experimental station then after  world war 2 in 1949 it was opened to the public as a national garden. The garden has three styles, Japanese traditional, English landscape and French Formal.
 Traditional Japanese garden at Shinjuku Gyoen National  Garden
The architecture outside of the gardens is mainly concrete multi story buildings many  very nondescript in design with the occasional beautiful 
stand out .

After an iced coffee with lots of ice it was time for some retail therapy and a visit to Sekaido Shinjuku - 5 floors of art supplies OMG, packed with people all buying.  I'm including this image of about 1/4 of the letraset on display after a recent discussion with my graphic designer friends who were reminiscing on the beauties of Letraset 

Saturday, 2 December 2017

waterless lithography workshop

 Simone Tippet from Unions Street Printmakers gave a waterless Lithography workshop at Vicarious press, 2 of our participants travelled all the way from Roxby Downs.
 First of all their was plate making
Then Printing

 and multiple plate printing

Quite a few interesting prints rolled off the press