What is washi paper?
The washi paper jewellery series is made from genuine Japanese washi paper. Washi paper is a traditional handmade paper using tree bark which is widely used for origami. Washi paper made from bark fibre has a unique strength and flexibility. It also has a beautiful translucency and often has a gold print outline which captures the light and works well under glass. I make the jewellery using glass cabochons which help to magnify the tiny designs.
Why I use it in my jewellery?
I fell in love with washi paper when I used it to make some wax covered origami boats. Each boat was made of a sheet of origami paper with a letter written to my son. Each letter captured my fellings, hopes and fears for him as he progressed through his life as an autistic person. The washi paper offered some wonderful symbolic elements that captured different aspects of life such as friendship, love, prosperity, happiness, challenges and dreams. The wax emphasised the translucent nature of the paper as well as making them last. This set of boats/letters were exhibited in the Whithorn Art Gallery in Scotland (see my previous post to find out a bit more about the gallery).
At the same time I had been using glass glass cabochons to create jewellery from my own artwork so I experimented a bit with washi paper. The early results with pendants were very popular and I had alot of requests from customers to create a wider range of items.
Washi paper features repeating patterns and traditional Japanese designs. Many of these include flower, tree, bird and fan motifs whilst some are fairly abstract. The jewellery offers a wide range of colour palettes and designs.
What kinds of jewellery do I produce?
I now offer a range of settings using wood, antique bronze effect metal and silver plated findings, and stainless steel to ensure that earrings are hypoallergenic. Although some of the jewellery can be bought as a matching set each piece is unique due the lack of uniformity of the designs. This is what makes this jewellery special.
I have created a range of jewellery including pendants, rings, earrings, brooch pins of varying sizes, tie pins and cufflinks.