Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so

Lately, I've been obsessing over vintage Japanese paper patterns like the one at left. Gorgeous, no? Deceptively simple seeming, it's actually quite complex and not merely a repeated pattern. As I've studied it, I realized each sunburst is unique, even each 'grain' is distinct! Gah!

(I think my recent obsession with Japanese patterns come from playing with a bunch of Washi tape my daughter ordered. It seems like the latest and greatest (and it IS great) but Washi is simply the Japanese word for the traditional papers made from the long inner fibers of three plants, 'wa' meaning Japanese and 'shi' meaning paper. Washi tape is based on those traditional patterns.If you want to learn more about Washi, check out this amazing Japanese Paper Shop that carries the most gorgeous selection of Washi papers.)

If I were making personalized stationery for myself, I think I'd base it on this pattern. I have started creating a pattern inspired by it, but it's taking for-ev-er! The detail! The perfection! So, I'll never be a Washi paper designer. Oh well. There is still hope I might one day be a ninja. One day....

Below are a few of my favorite vintage Washi patterns. The three below happen to come from old kimono patterns from the mid 20th century. The first two are most definitely my style. The last I have my eye on for the inspiration for some personalized stationery I've been meaning to make for my 95 year-old Mom-Mom, but that's a story for another post.

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