Japan - Email 4 - Awagami Paper Mill - Part 1
Ohayo gozaimas, friends and family,
I should probably start out by saying that we did not even feel the 6.8 earthquake in Nagano. We didn't even realize it had happened until Inez Storer's email just now. Japan is a volcanic island.
Sunday Don was scheduled to speak at Awagami Paper Mill. Aya Fujimori, a daughter of the Fujimori family (no relation, I think, to the former president of Peru), and her husband, Craig Anczelowitz, formerly of NY, picked us up early from our Takamatsu Hotel. The Fujimori family has been making paper at Awagami for over 300 years. Mr Fujimori or Fujimori-san is an innovative and experimental head of the company, reminding us of Don, so we were eager to visit and see what was going on at Awagami.
If you've followed the Magnolia Editions blog, you may remember that some of the artists who work with us at Magnolia (Hung Liu, Mildred Howard, Bob Nugent, Mary Webster) participated in an exhibition we had in March of last year during the time the Southern Graphics Arts Council visited the SF Bay Area; all works were on Awagami paper. We had a concurrent exhibition of Magnolia Editions work at Worth Ryder Gallery, UC Berkeley. Later, Awagami made large sheets of a heavyweight handmade paper for a Chuck Close project.
The Awagami handmade papermaking studio, paper factory, dyeing facilities, etc., etc., are spread across their small town located near Tokushima. It's impressive, the handmade papermaking studio, especially, which is laid out beautifully and intelligently, taking all papermaking needs into consideration.
Don formed and couched sheets of kozo for a large portion of our 3 working days at the Awagami Paper Mill.
Don making "distressed" paper for an art project
Shiso and other peppers, chunks of steak underneath
A closeup of the mini abalone. When the rice came out, cooked with tiny fish, most of us couldn't touch it. This was one meal.
Love from Japan
Era and Don