Back in October 2019, Hiromi made a trip to the papermaking village of San Pablito in Puebla, Mexico to visit the Amate Paper makers. The village is situated on a mountainside, a five hour drive away from Mexico City. There, Efrain Daza and his family produce Amate paper using methods passed down from precolonial times.
Amate paper is an ancient bark paper first produced by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Amate was used in these societies for codices and ceremonial cut-outs. Amate paper was threatened with extinction in the mid-1800’s. Efrain’s family, belonging to the Otomi people, have been producing paper for three generations.
Amate paper is made with bark from the Jonote tree, which is first soaked or boiled, and then worked by hand. The intensity of the original dark brown fibers comes from the natural color of the harvested bark. Subtle changes lead to subtle changes in color between each batch. Bleaching and dying are employed to produce papers in a range of colors suitable for painting and drawing, in addition to decorative uses.
While lighter solid color papers provide a stable surface for painters and artisans to build color and image upon, a range of papers use negative space to create subtle patterns that contrast uniform repetition with the natural contours of the raw materials.
Amate papers can be made in various designs, sizes, and colors—contact Hiromi paper to inquire about special orders
Bergy Bit Paintings on Nepalese Paper Artist’s Statement by J. J. L’Heureux www.jjlheureux.com
“I am an abstract painter. I often use landscape as the inspiration for my work. The road from the physical environment to the inspiration on the canvas attempts to convey my enthusiasm and attraction to a place, its wildlife and selected aspects of the actual physical scenery.
Antarctica is remote, vast, windy and cold. Yet it is the most pristine place in all regards. It contains life in the most amazing forms and adaptations including penguins (birds that do not fly), birds that fly, seals, whales and in few places a handful of plants. While it is a place dominated by white on white there are colors in this setting of ice and snow that most people would be surprised to see.
Few people have had the privilege to travel to any part of this continent. There is a complex process underway among the many nations working in Antarctica of expanding the imagery of Antarctica into our shared cultural inventory of word, picture, music and scientific discovery.
Since my first visit thirteen years ago I have been building my own visual vocabulary. Bergy Bits is my first series of ice paintings. I have a photographic series that captures the colors and life in the snow and ice landscape. It is my intention to use different disciplines to capture my varied responses to this most wondrous place.
I have been to the Southern Ocean 13 times, the last in March 2013 when I was able to fly into the Taylor Dry Valley and study the Canada Glacier, one for the only “moving without movement” glaciers as it stays in approximately the same place because as it moves slowly forward it evaporates at the front inthe extremely windy, dry and extra cold air. It is my intention to find additional venues to explore different parts of this vast and inspiring place. The art will follow.
By definition Bergy Bits are large chunks of glacier ice or a very small iceberg floating in the sea. They are generally spawned from disintegrating icebergs and glaciers.”
We visited J.J.’s studio in late July, to see the Bergy Bits Series she was finishing up on. We were surprised to see how she incorporated the textured Nepalese papers into her work, using the bumpy textures of the papers to portray the coarse surfaces of the actual icebergs in the Southern Ocean. Over some coffee and J.J’s delicious homemade chocolate pudding, we asked her a few questions regarding her work:
Why did you choose to work with the Nepal papers for this series?
I loved the Nepal paper’s texture. I used to create my own bumpy textures on smooth papers, but when I found this Nepalese paper at Hiromi, it saved me a lot of trouble.
Do you go through any special preparations?
I have someone make the special size custom panels for me, then stretch the papers on to them and adhered with PVA glue. Then, I apply gesso before I start with my oil paints. I feel that oil paints have more texture than acrylic, which tends to become ‘flat’.
What is your main inspiration?
Well of course it comes from my expeditions to the South Ocean! Since 2000, I’ve been going every year on these adventures, and have been making art, conducting research and helping people ever since.
How long have you been using papers from Hiromi Paper?
Since Hiromi was at the Marina Del Rey location. She has the best papers, best variety and most availability. No one is disappointed with Hiromi’s Papers!
Greetings from Tokyo!
Fellow HPI staff Joanna and I (Yuki) are now in Tokyo, before our 1-week Washi tour begins next week!
Today, we explored Ginza, strolling the streets and browsing through multiple stores to see what is trending now in Japan.
What we came across was an item that we both adore….WASHI TAPE. Continue reading “Colorful Tokyo”
It’s about time for us to restring these older kamifusen we’ve had on display in our store. These fresh new vivid balloons are teeming with excitement to be brought to life and hung up for everyone to see! Follow along for some tips on how you can string and display them in your own home.
Each balloon has 6 faces in alternating blue and red colors. The faces have images of famous landmarks, and Japanese Traditions exclusively from the Toyama Prefecture. Read more for detailed information and translations on each face of the balloon.
Amazing prints done on the walnut paperwood for business cards. He found it more convenient to print on the larger sheet and cut down to size with an xacto knife. Many thanks to Kyle Hertler for bringing in a copy!