Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Arts and Paper in Japan

I recently took a trip to Japan, a paper lover's paradise. My husband and I spent a week in Kyoto visiting gardens, temples, shrines and other local sites. We also took a shinkansen or bullet train to Hiroshima to visit the Atomic Dome and Peace Park. I left one of my crane books, shown below at the Sadako memorial. Visiting Hiroshima was an incredibly moving experience.

Of course, the trip included visiting lots of paper shops. I went to Morita as well as Kira Karacho. Both are institutions in the Kyoto area where paper making has a very long history. Kira Karacho is a store founded by the a family of karakami makers that began in 1624. They produce traditional fusuma sliding doors and wallpaper, but Kira began this stationary store in 2004 as a way to reach new audiences. Antique wood blocks are used to print on washi paper.

It was while we were visiting the store for the second time that we noticed the small shopping arcade has a gallery on the third floor. It  showcases artwork by students at Kyoto Seika University. We stopped in and noticed some handmade books in a side area. At first, I thought they were for sale, but as I looked around I realized it was a book arts exhibit. My husband quipped that only I could stumble upon a book arts exhibit 6000 miles from home. It was small, but lovely with a good
variety of books. Please enjoy the images and this brief description of an indescribably wonderful trip to Japan.


Crane book I made and left at the Peace Park memorial.

Sadako statue at the Hiroshima Peace Park.

The eternal flame with the Atomic Dome in the background, Hiroshima Peace Park.

Fusuma sliding doors in our Ryokan.

Examples of books at the b. only book 10 exhibit.

Information about the book artists (I assume).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cube Book Workshop

I got to spend last Sunday afternoon with five talented women in my Cube Book Workshop. It was offered through San Diego Book Arts. We played a word game called The Exquisite Corpse to generate content for our books, colored our paper using Distress Inks and folded our way to finished cube shaped books. The books have 4 pages that are folded inserts and everyone used different colors and techniques to make their books unique. I hope seeing these pictures will inspire you to try this structure.

The red triangular book was made by my mom, Faye after I taught her the cube book structure. I am including the pictures so you get an idea of one of the many variations you can do with this folded work.



Faye's 3 tiered triangle book.

Nancy K's colored pages.

Linnea, Janis, and Jade use dye inks to color their paper.

Nancy K. and Nancy W.  are hard at work coloring their paper.

Linnea folds up her book.

Nancy W. inserts pages into her colorful book.

Janis works on folding her last page.

Nancy W.'s finished book.

Janis' finished book open.

Jade's finished book with the pages removed.