On a rainy day in November, I went to Shibuya to see Mr. Akira Kubota where he held a Sekishu-washi workshop. The exhibit wasn’t too large, but had numerous pieces of washi made by renowned papermakers from Sekishu. With much help from Mr Kubota, I had a chance to actually experience paper-making (picture). As the paper-making started, the usually cheerful Mr.Kubota changed character and became a rather strict teacher. Although I thought he was severe at first, I began to see the great pride and adoration that he has toward washi. After my paper was pressed, dried and complete, without a word, Mr. Kubota presented me with a lamp kit and commended me for my first experience as a craftsman with his usual smile. (picture) That was a precious moment that I felt the true heart behind the art of washi.
(left: Yuki right: Mr. Akira Kubota of Sekishu Washi)
The colorful leaves and flowers seen are cutouts from washi, and the circles of various shapes and sizes were made by a technique called “rakusui“, by gently dropping water onto the still wet paper randomly. This may sound easy, but the amount of water used and the gentle flow of the hand is difficult for a first-timer to master…
• Mr. Akira Kubota in Shimane Prefecture makes 2 kinds of Sekishu Hanshi carried by HPI:
Sekishu Hanshi (half sheets of Sekishu washi) is made from processed bark of kozo, mitsumata, and gampi fibers. Mr. Kubota’s Sekishu Hanshi is made from kozo in which is the middle bark layer is not removed, which makes for strong darker colored paper.
HP-06 Sekishu Tsuru
HP-07 Sekishu Mare
Sekishu Tsuru EVA
Along with HP-60 Sekishu Torinoko Gampi made of 100% Sekishu Gampi, excellent for printmaking and platinum printing.