The last time I saw wallpaper being applied was in the early 80’s when my mother was re-papering our bathroom. Wait, I take that back. I installed a commissioned wall piece in a condo in Portland a few years ago, and there was a guy installing designer wall paper in the bathroom there too! But I don’t encounter wallpaper very often.
When I was living in New York and working at Dieu Donné Papermill, we had a membership program which sponsored a series of field trips to various paper collections. A memorable one was a visit to the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s walllcoverings department. Although there is nothing like seeing the real thing in person, they have quite a bit of their collection on-line. I love the colors in the piece below.
Border, 2010-31-240, 1929–30. 1929–30. Machine-printed on paper. Gift of Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz. 2010-31-240.
As I’ve written before, the intrigue of Japanese shoji screens was my entree into papermaking over twenty years ago. I was living in NYC and visited Japan before I discovered Dieu Donné. My original intention was to go to Japan and learn how to make paper. I started taking Japanese and researching ways to fund my trip. During this time, I visited a great little shop (in NYC) that made custom shoji screens called Miya Shoji, and met the owner, Chosuke Miyahira. I just looked him up and he’s still in business! Check out the lovely images of the traditional tools and projects they’ve done over the years.
Shoji by Miya Shoji in NYC
I was inspired to make my own shoji screens and my own paper. I purchased this book and took a class to learn how to make wood joints. I even called the author of the book who had studied in Japan.
Shoji, by Jay Van Arsdale
I never ended up going to Japan, but I did make a nice set of sliding shoji screen door/windows that went from the base of my loft bed to the ceiling. Sadly, I no longer have photos.
In the fall of 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to Korea, where I saw some gorgeous Korean paper walls and windows.
papered windows at my Seoul homestay
Traditional paper doors at the paper museum in Seoul
Papered temple windows in Seoul
Check out these amazing bagasse paper tiles intended for wall coverings.
They come in several textures. I worked with bagasse years ago and it was very fibrous. I’m not sure how they are fabricating these tiles. Perhaps they are mixing the bagasse with another fiber.
What paper walls or doors have you seen or created? Please leave a comment below.