February 08, 2022

Paper Love

By Sora Ahsan
Paper Love

I don't know about you, but I absolutely love paper - always have.

When I was younger, most of the girls my age would "ooh" and "ahh" over the latest fashion trends, jewelry, and boys, I used to get excited about paper.

The beginning of the school year was my favorite time because that's when I would go school shopping with my Father  (who is also a paper lover) and get new notebooks. Some of my favorite childhood memories are stationery shopping and spending hours in a library with him - those were the good ole Dewy Decimal System days - the days of watching a writer/artist so lost in that zone that I probably could have taken off my shoes and climbed to the top of the shelves and read aloud every volume of The Encyclopedia Britannica and he wouldn't have noticed.

I have to say that not much has changed over the years(with us both). I still adore him and paper... still spend hours immersed in books... and still get excited over writing with a blue Bic ballpoint pen - with the pointy cap. Isn't that all a girl really needs?

I never anticipated that my love of paper would send me spiraling into a world of papers I never knew existed - A paper world with foreign names and origins that I can hardly pronounce on a good day - with a good teacher.  

Almost all of the papers I use are from Japan because there's just something about those particular papers that I cannot get enough of. It's as if each paper has its own story to tell your hands when you touch it. Sometimes the paper is so excited it yells to you all loud crinkly. Sometimes it’s in a quiet mood and speaks low. And sometimes it whispers softly and your fingers respond accordingly and delicately - like with the Kyoseishi I recently got that feels like cloth. It sometimes feels strange to print on them - like I need to adjust the print image or find the right one that will marry well with the history and feel and energy or aura and sophistication of the paper itself. 

Each story, each feel, surrounds you and you find yourself transported to a village somewhere deep in Japan - absorbing the stories and the lives of the papermakers. The love and care that is put into making each piece of paper is somehow embedded deep between and within the fibers - becoming one - making it noticeable upon touch that something is different here...something unexplainable...something beautiful...theres a story being told...a sensory experience. 

Yep, paper still puts butterflies in my stomach - just like the old days of shopping with my Daddy... surrounded by books, drowning in papers, with a trusty Bic ready to write the stories we want to tell...print the images we want to print...the secrets we want to keep.




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