Part I – Inspiration: My passion for washi (Japanese paper) and washi craft objects was sparked in the late 60’s when my mother returned from visiting Japan with a suitcase full of goodies. My attraction to anything paper grew strong, as did my intention to visit Japan someday.
Fast forward to the 1980’s; I moved to Japan, and while living there I experienced how washi was made by hand. Living in Japan for 4 years, I was immersed in the complex, inspiring craft history of Japan. Back in the USA, I took a job as Art Director and was in charge of a significant collection of Japanese craft, folk art and washi.
These experiences allowed me to gain great knowledge of Japanese craft decorative techniques, but also set in motion a greater appreciation for the magical creation of a simple, undecorated piece of handmade paper; specifically washi.
I am steadfast in my endeavor to articulate and impart to the next generation, the intense labor involved in birthing a simple piece of pure, handmade paper. In addition, to portray Japanese paper’s wonderful and ubiquitous nature in everyday Japanese life.
In 1989, I began selling washi in the United States and continued my research into the history of hand and machine papermaking methods. In 1992, I shared in this passion when I facilitated a one-week long papermaking and paper craft, multi-workshop event in the Boston area.
I co-hosted 20 paper artists from Japan with the Peabody Essex Museum. This immersive time with Japanese traditional papermakers and artists, was pivotal. It became crystal clear to me that this passion was about connection and commitment to this rich history and the individuals living it. From that point on, I dedicated myself to supporting these and other traditional makers and artists in their endeavors and thus bringing their paper world into my world.
I am fortunate to continue this work as the Founder and Director of Paper Connection International, LLC in Providence, Rhode Island. With residences in both the USA and Japan, I travel back and forth several times a year. May passion and commitment to this vision continues to grow through Paper Connection; a resource for connecting artisan paper-makers, artists and those who are passionate about preserving and promoting all things paper!