Texture, colour, fabrication, ingenuity and quality all come to mind when I think of traditional Mino Washi paper. The paper has a very long history of fabrication in the Mino area of Gifu. Traditionally made one sheet at a time using a framed sieve of woven tatami, it is formed from the hand pulped wood of the mulberry tree, combined with the gentle adhesive properties of the hibiscus root. Because of the purity of the water in which it is made, Mino Washi paper is now some of the most desirable paper in the world, notably used in the restoration of Leonardo Da Vinci drawings by the British museum.
For the collection we wanted to showcase the beauty of the Mino Washi paper in a range of playful and useful products. We have for instance created notebooks with traditional binding that feature rounded corners so that they slip easily into a pocket. Our inspiration for the covers of these these comes from traditional Japanese mosaics as well as from my love of the Japanese language, which I believe to have a rather beautiful musical, as well as graphic nature. Another one of my favourite products is the wrapping paper, which uses the mountainous topography of the region for the pattern.
Since its formation Kaminoshigoto has been producing and selling traditional Japanese lantern Washi. They also distribute Washi related products and a variety of Mino Washi, and have expanded their business into Washi printing using new technologies such as silkscreen and inkjet printing. Whilst continuing with traditional craftsmanship, they are also developing their own products and new technologies. Taking advantage of their accumulated knowledge, Kaminoshigoto is always seeking new possibilities, committed to enriching lives with high quality products made from Mino Washi.
Writing and drawing are the legacy of thought and Oboeru is a Japanese word for memories. The collection features Mino Washi papers, greetings cards and screen-printed notebooks, combined with traditional binding techniques and gold leafing. Designers, writers and artists always carry notebooks, and Japan is filled with inspiring observations, insights and memories that quickly fill them with amusing words and etiquette. The Japanese language itself is beautiful, even if you don’t understand the meaning, with its birdsong-like sounds often compared to Italian.