Trained as artist and painter, Hatano Wataru moved to Kurotani in northern Kyoto prefecture 17 years ago. Fascinated by the texture and durability of the Kurotani washi (traditional Japanese paper), he decided to learn the skill and become a papermaker himself.
The Kurotani area is famous for its many Kouzo trees (paper mulberry tree) and its clean, fresh water, which form the raw materials of washi. For over 800 years traditional paper making skills have been developed in this area and the craft is still preserved through artists like Hatano.
Rather than only sticking to traditional washi paper products such as book covers and writing paper, Hatano also offer products such as:
Hatano: I studied art at Tama Art University and am now producing and introducing my works painting on washi. I think I am good at painting simple, with a soft touch, and using my washi gives a special vibration to the painting.
Hatano also produces tabletops, doors etc. using the advantage of the strength of washi. Washi has a gentle texture, but pasted onto surfaces like walls or wooden tables it creates a smooth, flat surface with a surprisingly well-defined look. This is what makes washi so interesting. I want to make full use of the strength and texture that are the outstanding qualities of Kurotani washi.
Washi can contain light in itself. Therefore, a space decorated with wallpaper made by washi will look different depending on the light available. This is a great effect giving you a feeling of richness and happiness.
Says Hatano: As I would like for more people to know and learn about washi, I am making small washi products for daily use.
Shortly, we will be offering some of Hataho’s products in our Concept Store. For any questions or inquiries regarding Hatano’s washi products don’t hesitate to contact WASAKU.