Istanbul Congress 2010 Part 1

Hiromi has returned for the 2010 IIC in Istanbul with plenty of pictures to share. The IIC stands for the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. This year was the 23rd biennial IIC Congress, held in Istanbul, Turkey. It was Hiromi’s first time there, so it was a treat for her to experience as well. Below is the first part in her photo report, more parts to come!

Taking Part in Recreating Ancient Paper

By Hasegawa Satoshi
Maker of Usu-Mino, Hon-Mino, and Cho-chin
Translated by Yona & Yuki

This summer, we were given an opportunity to work with the Tokyo University Historiography Department on their research of restoring paper used in ancient Japanese documents. Normally, paper cannot be produced in the summer, so this was just the right occasion. Papers from ancient times each have their own unique expression, so it was fascinating just to be able to observe each one.

This time, we attempted to cook Kozo fibers with wood ash in order to recreate these ancient papers. Wood ash leaves a different fragrant in the air than soda ash, quite like the smell of cocoa. When kozo bark is cooked until tender, it also looks as if it were smeared with ash. There were also unexpected occurences, but they became meaningful experiences for us. Upon completion of the paper, we can’t say we were completely satisfied with the results. We were able to cook with wood ash easier than we thought, on the other hand, beating the kozo fibers was unexpectedly difficult(due to the wood ash leaving Kozo fibers longer than if using caustic soda).

We had expected the tools used to make paper in those days to be different from now. But, trial after trial, we were able to come up with different ideas. Because we had to guess the methods used from several hundred years ago and what went on in the maker’s heads, we had to jump into the past in our discussions with the fellow artisans. We were deeply moved by it emotionally.

Opinions on the changes from washi making techniques since ancient times differ according to researchers, it also feels like no prominent theory has been agreed upon as of yet. I myself have had questioned the various theories from researchers until now. But participating in such experiments from a craftsman’s standpoint, I have come away with the impression that there are things I can help collaborate with. And with it, I hope to share with everyone the results.

Wood Ash Process

Drying Boards

KMR-01 Shikoku Natural Wallpapers

Arthur from Twigs Fabric & Wallpaper (310-314-6284) in IDS Venice stopped by to show us a sample of his work on our  KMR-01 Shikoku Natural Rolls.

Japanese “Wave” Pattern using the Italian “Carta D’orata” technique (spelling may be off)

According to him, the Shikoku Natural paper’s long fibers make it a great paper for soaking in different colors, they’ve been using it for years now!

Outside the Box: Edition Jacob Samuel

At Hammer Museum until August 29th

Features 43 portfolios of limited-editions prints by more than 40 prominent international artists  who worked with master printer Jacob Samuel.
Some of us HPI staff members were able to join the exhibition walk-through with Jacob Samuel on the 19th, and it was amazing listening to Jacob speak on the technical aspects. It was a journey of collaborating with the artists that he chose and developing ways of making the centuries old etching process work with modern artists (some of who have never etched before).

For those curious on the different applications of Japanese Gampi paper (and other paper such as waxed Masa and Rives), the exhibition features many of our papers. They range from Surface Gampi to Natural Gampi to special ordered Shikibu Gampi, and more.

View the editions here.

Dano Fine Art & Design

We love it when our customers swing by our store with their artwork on our paper, and that is exactly how we came across Daniel Suits and his wonderful ‘Walk From Kanagawa” art on our Bhutan paper. Below are his three pieces inspired by Japanese printmaking, paintings, woodcuts, and…Hiromi Paper! The Walk From Kanagawa is dry pastel on Rural Tsarsho, while The Banyan Tree & The Gate are acrylic paint on Khadi.


Walk From Kanagawa



The Banyan Tree



The Gate
The Gate


If you would like to see more information on the artist, visit his facebook page here!

SALE Mohachi 500g paper

Our Mohachi paper was developed by Mohachi Oki, now continued by Keiji Oki, the grandson. It is a heavy weight, yet soft, handmade paper that is sized internally so that ink will stay on the surface. It’s uses include printmaking, painting, and ink-jet printing. The large 31.5″x 47″ 500 gsm Mohachi paper comes in white or natural. Also, right now in a limited stock, we have large size very slightly damaged (2 lightly bent corners) Mohachi for 25% off!

Gampi Natural Sheet Undergoes Treatment

An experiment we did on a Gampi Natural Sheet.

before ironing
before ironing
after ironing
after ironing

Next time don’t fret if you accidently create a wrinkle or disturbance in your paper. Ironing has proven to help clear out the slight damages and restore the paper! (thickness of the paper should also be taken into consideration)

HPI Day at The Getty

On the Getty Tram with our sushi
On the Getty Tram with our sushi

On Wednesday (May 27th), after closing the store, the entire HPI staff headed off to The Getty for a panel on 40+ years with Gemini G.E.L. But before that started, we were able to have a tour of the conservation floors with Lynne Kaneshiro. Lynne first took us to the paintings conservation room where Sue Ann gave us some insights on her latest projects with paintings on wood and the different issues they have to consider in working on conserving them. One thing we noted about the paintings conservation area..what a great view they have! Afterwards, Lynne showed us to her area downstairs which seemed to be divided into even more sections; prints, storage, library, paper, manuscripts, and more. It was something like coming out of a sci-fi area, with all the security and lab-like environment, definitely felt a bit top-secret. And of course, informative, as Lynne showed us how our Japanese tissue paper (such as the hinging paper) is used in piecing together the art and manuscript work.

On our way to the auditorium
On our way to the auditorium

After our sushi break out in the breezy mountain-view dining area (same as where our AIC opening reception was held!), we were off to the Gemini G.E.L. panel, which was sold-out(or reserved-out?). The setup was like that of a talk-show, with a host bringing up topics that summarize briefly the history of Gemini through antidotes and slideshow. The guests and topic of the show being Gemini cofounders Sidney Felsen and Stanley Grinstein, and artists John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. There were some microphone issues that actually created a more intimate atmosphere, like we were watching in on the conversation between longtime pals. I actually have just begun learning about these artists and their works through Hiromi Paper, so it was exciting to get some background knowledge straight from these four great figures in the art and printmaking world.

40+ Years with Gemini G.E.L.
40+ Years with Gemini G.E.L.
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