The Paper Shuffle – Part Five – The Oriental Connection


The Paper Shuffle – Part Five – The Oriental Connection

Are we allowed to use the word ‘ oriental ‘ any more? Probably not, if someone somewhere wants to make a fuss. But they are probably busy right now writing savage political memes for Facebook so I’ll just go ahead and use it.

The object under scrutiny is a packet of twenty sample papers from the Awagami Factory in Tokushima, on the island of Shikoku in Japan. About as oriental as you get…

The papers in this packet are referred to as washi – a style of paper making. It would appear that there are a number of trees and bushes, as well as rice, wheat, bamboo, or hemp, that can be called upon to contribute fibres to the process. This is reflected in the wild number of choices in this packet – choices that I am assuming can be duplicated when you order a specific paper in a specific size from the shop.

I noted at both Stirling Street and Murray Street that there are stocks in hand of those larger sizes.

Okay, some of these are things that might look like papers from western manufacturers – but some are  exotically eastern. You must decide whether your images are such as will be enhanced by the textures. The sample packet gives you a chance to see, but it is one chance per surface – there are 20 sheets there. Fortunately they are identified with an indexed sticker on the back of each sheet to let you know what you are handling and which side to print on.

The unfortunate part of this is that you may have to download some exotic profiles, and you may have to exercise your imagination whilst doing so. Presumably you cannot actually break your computer or printer while doing this…

So here is the list. Be patient. There are 20 sheets in there. I’ll not comment on each one – just look at what their surface is doing and make up your own mind.

Here are a few clues to help you decode the names of the papers. 
Unryu: The IJNS UNRYU was a Japanese aircraft carrier that was torpedoed by USS REDFISH.  
Kozo: Tissue paper.
Inbe:  A clan in Japan. Like a clan in Scotland but fewer beards and skirts.
Mitsumata:  An unattended Japanese railway station.
Bizan:  A mountain near Tokushima.
Bamboo:  Self explanatory.
Bamgoo:  Like bamboo but stickier.
The Awagami Factory people point out on the back of the packet that these are papers made with natural materials and the result you get may be affected by this.
Do come to one of our stores and buy a sample packet of these papers and go home and try them. The thin ones will let the image through to the other side of the paper and the thick ones will impose their own patterns on your image, but somewhere in between there must be art. We can only benefit from your experiences, so bring the results back and show us.
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