Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chasing the butterflies .....

I'm always looking for places to put my spare rolls of hanji paper so now I have the answer to this problem. 

For years I've had an umbrella stand sitting in my  entranceway and as we don't have any large umbrellas  here in the UAE because it seldom rains and when it does, no one seems to mind getting wet.  Until recently it was filled with all sorts of odds and  ends including squash raquets,  old rolls of wallpaper and shopping bags as well as hats.  I've commandeered it and now it sits nicely in my studio. 

I've been designing another one for my upcoming class  and this time it's going to be for my daughter Laura. It's designed as an umbrella stand or a tall pot but it could have a variety of uses.  This one is more contempory with cats chasing the butterflies over a yellow background.  I've used two layers of paper on the pot, firstly a yellow then a very fine off white paper to give it more texture and to smooth over the edges.  Inside I've used a light, fine paper with small pieces of bark in it.

The cats are cut out of black paper as are the butterflies but I've added a touch of colour underneath the butterflies in shades of blue to lift them a little.  I'm pretty pleased with the result and I hope she can find a use for it in her home.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cats & hanji ....

In my next set of classes the students will be making an umbrella or, hold anything, stand. 

In the past I've made them with traditional Korean paper designs and I really like the effect but I'm loving the colour yellow at the moment as it's so bright and cheerful  and it reminds me of Spring which is about to start here in the Northern hemisphere. 

In fact we were invited to an Iranian New Year feast yesterday which traditionally falls around the 21st of March each year and the northward equinox. The celebration is called 'Nowruz' which means New Year and it marks the beginning of the Persian year.  Small yellow jonquils are displayed in Iranian homes as well as hyacinths in a variety  of different colours.


So with the colour yellow in mind I wanted to add a more contemporary look to the the stand so I found this wonderful cutout of a cat which I'm going to use around the sides and one of them may possibly find itself inside as well. I'm making this for my cat loving daughter, Laura. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Korean windows and doors .....

One of the many uses for hanji paper is to line doors and windows of traditional houses and buildings.  This handmade mulberry paper is strong and yet it creates a soft diffused light inside the rooms which has been enjoyed for centuries by Korean families.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fishy drawers .....

Over the last few weeks I've been teaching a class of students how to cut out and make a set of drawers with a typically Asian style, curved top.
I love teaching classes because the basic construction of the articles is always the same for every student but they all have such wonderful ideas on different variations of  colour and decorations for their pieces. One of them will be in red, another in a dark colour with bright primary coloured decorations inside the drawers, another in a black with a light textured paper inside the drawers and yet another in pale lemon  patterned and plain papers . 

Colours and papers have been chosen and they are now in the process of putting everything together but in the meantime, I thought that I'd show you what I am doing with the sample piece that I'm working on with them.
I decided on a fishy theme. When I'm making a piece I don't always know exactly what it'll look like when I'm finished but I especially liked this cutout of a carp so I wanted to use it and began with just this decoration.

Then, I felt it needed some waves on the front of the drawers so I found a book and adapted the picture to make a cutout to fit the drawers.  I then finished it off with some waterlilies inside the bright yellow drawers.

My piece is  still a work in progress as it is for my students but I'll post some photos of their amazing designs as time goes on.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring is nearly here and, how to make a small pot

Here in the UAE we only have two seasons, summer in the mid to high 40s C & winter in the 20s C.  The change in temperatures between seasons is very welcome but due to the harsh summer conditions there isn't a huge variety of plants that will survive and therefore most of the fresh flowers are airflown in daily from Holland.  They are beautiful but it gets very expensive to be constantly buying fresh ones for display.

I don't think about the other seasons so much these days but I did notice in one of the homeware stores this weekend that it was decorated ready for Spring. 

There were special pastel toned bowls, flowery cushions,  blossoms of different varieties and  colourful plants as if to herald the beginning of a season we don't even experience in this part of the world. 

They weren't fresh flowers they were artificial. I've never been much of a lover of plants other than fresh ones but these days they've improved tremendously from the old plastic varieties and are really quite lifelike and appealing so I decided to buy a small bright yellow plant for my desk.

On getting it home I thought that it'd probably look better with a small container for it to sit in. I scoured my overflowing cupboards for just the right sized pot but couldn't find anything that would be suitable so I decided to make one out of Hanji.

This is what I did.
Cut a long strip of cardboard to fit around the plant. Score it every 1cm.

Check to make sure it fits.

Cut out a circle for the base.

This is how it should fit
Cut out & glue papers for the inside of the pot
Glue the sides to the base and then tape

I printed a photo onto Hanji to get the effect I wanted.

 Paper the outside of the pot

The picture is  of a brick wall and the pattern is a traditional design representing prosperity and long life but you don't need to use photos and any Hanji paper would be OK. It took about  an hour to make and it's just what I wanted.

Hanji is such a versatile craft and if you have an idea in mind of what you want then it's likely you can make it with a little bit of imagination and 'thinking outside the box(pot)'.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Online Hanji paper store, in English .....

I'm really pleased to be able to share with you this website where you can order a variety of Hanji papers from Korea and it's all in English !!!  The store is based in Daejon, Korea.


HAMINBRIDGE (Thehanji) was established by Moonyang Park in 1983. It's a family owned 2nd generation  business and they have a factory in Junju.  They also have a factory in China where some of the paper is made. The website is at www.thehanji.com and it provides a selection of specialty Hanji paper (Korean paper) and products. 

I ordered some papers from them recently  to see what it was like and they were extremely efficient in dealing with  the order and it was here in the UAE within 5 days so I was really impressed. The prices were good and they even have some on special, the paper is beautiful and the ease of ordering was amazing.  

They do sell rolls of paper, traditional papers and lanterns but overall I did think the range was a bit limited for what I want.  I'd love to see some more plain colours, bleaching papers and patterned papers but this is certainly a great start.

Check it out if you're looking to order Hanji paper directly from Korea.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hanji studio opening ......

Thursday evening was the opening of my Hanji studio and I was joined by many of my students and friends for champagne and nibbles to mark the occasion. 


It's taken a while to set it up but I'm delighted with the results and I now have a space in which to teach, be creative and explore the Hanji arts further.

It marks a new beginning for me and my Hanji crafts and  I'm really looking forward to using the studio and the space it provides.

 Thank you everyone !!

It's been a while but I just have to share this ...... Bali paper making

Whilst on a holiday in Bali last week I began to wonder if anyone there did paper making.   After a lot of research I came u...