A single sheet of artistry from which new things are born.
he elegant feel and delicate texture of paper has captured the hearts of people, not only in Japan, bat all over the world. TESUKI-WASHI, or handmade Japanese paper, is made from the bark fibers of three types of shrubs: KOZO GAMPI, and MITSUMATA. In the traditional method of making of washi, a mixture of pulp and water is combined with a natural mucilage from the TORORO-AOI plant, a relative of the hollyhock family. This mucilage thickens the liquid, slowing the time it takes for the mixture to drain through the paper-making screen. It also suspends the fibers evenly to produce a well-balanced paper of consistent thickness and quality. First, a mixture of fiber, mucilage and water is placed in a SUGETA, a flat wood-framed screen, which is then shaken lengthwise and widthwise by the papermaker until the water has been strained out. It is then drained and dried until the mucilage has evaporated leaving a finished sheet of paper.
The art of papermaking requires the painstaking labor of a skilled craftsperson. Here, a woman rhythmically shakes the SUGETA screen with an expert's intuition and sensitivity. It is the touch of human hands that gives Japanese paper it's vitality and warmth.