Paper Gifts - Awagami Washi

Last month I registered and posted my mini woodblock prints to Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition in Japan. This morning I receive an email from AIMPE to let me know they have arrived safely. 

Not long after receiving the email from Awagami, the postman knocks on the door and presents a beautiful envelope made from Awagami’s washi paper. Inside is a pack of Awagami Editioning Papers - a gift from Awagami paper factory as one of first 500 hundred artists to register to AIMPE. These gorgeous washi papers include a selection of Kitakata, Hosho, Bamboo, Kozo, Shiramine, Okawara, Hakuho and Bunkoshi. 

"Awagami Editioning Papers are crafted at our mill with the artistry and knowledge of 300 years of wash paper-making. The papers are made using traditional Japanese fibers such as kozo and gampi as well as other non-tree fibers; bamboo and cotton. Fibers are often skillfully combined yielding washi with highly unique textures amd expressive characteristics.” Awagami Factory

Netsuke - Man with a Fan

This is the first experiment printing a netsuke wood block on dampened Hosho paper. I sketched the image from the photograph of the Man with a Fan from Ammy's netsuke photo album.


I first learnt about Hosho paper from illustrator and printmaker Peter Brown when I joined his Japanese woodblock printing course at Spike Island in March 2012. I was hooked but spent the next three years resisting the actual doing of it. Instead, I was thinking about it and spending time looking at Japanese woodblock prints, researching print makers and sourcing books on Japanese woodblock printing. I didn't know it would take another three years for me to start making my own woodblock prints.

I have been printing on off-white Somerset satin and Japon simile for test prints. I love the contrast of the watery blackness of the ink on the dampened white hosho paper.

"I was fumbling with colour prints," he continues, "until one day I saw a woodcut by Sumio Kawakami. It was black and white, a small work showing a woman walking in the wind, with a poem about the wind of early summer. Suddenly I knew I had found what I was looking for. Kawakami had shown me the way. I threw myself into prints." Shiko Munakata - On Woodblock Prints - Southbank Centre London 1991

Transferring and carving Man with a Fan


Inking up Man with a Fan