Washi Summer Fun

Washi Summer Fun

2024 Jun 13th

It’s summertime, and that means there are so many new opportunities for creative adventures, both indoors and out. Are you wondering what to promote to your customers from afar, or those regulars who are heading to the cottage? We offer this handy guide to share with them.

Take it Outside

Economy Green Lid Sumi Ink (left) and Marbling Set (Right)

Now is the time to explore those potentially messy activities you’ve been avoiding. Suminagashi, Japanese water-marbling, is a great activity for most ages. Using the inks from the purpose made Marbling Set or plain sumi ink, a small-pointed brush, and a basin of clean water, you can create marvellous designs on washi. Usu Kuchi Heavy is a great option, made from pure kozo, it is absorbent and affordable. Once marbled and dried the papers can be used for writing letters, creating fantasy maps, in collage, and many other paper craft activities.

Suminagashi (two on the left) and Orizome (two on the right)

Once you have your marbling kit outside, you can also make Orizome. Put a small amount of each colour into its own saucer (or you can use a palette, if you have one) fold your piece of Usu Kuchi Heavy into quarters, and then into a triangle. Dip each corner in a different colour of ink. Open it up to see the marvellous patterns you have created. Or fold your paper into an accordion and then fold that pleated strip into an accordion. Dip each edge of this bundle into a colour.

Going on a hike? Take along the Beam Paints Postcard Pack. Complete with a Beam mixing palette, travel brush, and handmade, pure-kozo postcard-sized sheets, all you need is a little water to start painting your very own en plein air postcard.

At the Cottage

We all know it’s going to happen – a rainy day at the cottage. With the Bookbinding Kit 1 and 2, you can spend a delightful time making your own notebook (or sketchbook). Once you’ve finished your book, if it hasn’t stopped raining, you can fill it up with sketches of what you see around you, what you wish you were doing, or write and illustrate your own short story. If the rain has stopped, these little books are perfect to stuff in a pocket or backpack to take with you everywhere you go.

Feeling more colourful? Use the contents of Make Yourself Ten Unique Cards to create mini cut paper designs on pre-folded cardstock. Included in the kit are letter-ready liners and envelopes. All you need to complete your project is a bit of glue, try Glue Stick Yamato for a no mess approach, and scissors (although tearing the paper can create interesting effects, too) and your imagination.

Can’t Decide

From top to bottom: Etchu Meishi, Hagaki, and Etchu Card

Of course, there are always those days when you don’t know whether you would rather be inside or out. There are washi activities that you can take anywhere. Kozo cards come in an three sizes, from business card sized “Etchu Meishi” to the largest Etchu Card that is 6 x 8”. These pure kozo, handmade sheets are much heavier than most Japanese paper at 240 and 300g and are suitable for ink or collage (or maybe a combination?). Try your hand at brush calligraphy with sumi ink or an ink painting. Use the variety of papers from a mosaic pack to collage a scene or just play with colour and the wonderful translucency of Japanese paper. If you find using a brush and liquid ink daunting, there are wonderful single, or double-ended brush pens that are portable and offer a similar feel without the risk of a nasty spill.

From left to right: Ehime 100 Colours Origami X-Large, Large, and Small

Last, but not least, origami paper! It comes in a variety of colours and sizes and is easy to pack. For a rainbow of solid colour sheets, we offer Ehime Origami Packs in three sizes. If you prefer a more decorative approach, the Emergency Pocket Pack and Pocket Pack Plus are always perfect to have on hand, just in case. Origami is a great screen-free car activity, too.

Wherever your summer vacation takes you, remember to pack a little washi for the road, and be ready for holidays full of creative fun.