Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This is a fine example of a Washi Doll created by an ancient paper folding and gluing technique. This particular beauty was a gift from my Dollmaking Sensei in Japan.

I always thought that paper is paper is paper, but I'm wrong. All paper has varying characteristics of texture , weight, and color. Washi paper is very unique. After handling and working with it's flexible nature ,one naturally begins to feel that there is some kind of communication or ' Contact" happening between the natural fibres of the washi and the artisan, who is creating the doll.

Washi Paper is handmade from the bark fibres of three Japanese shrubs. ' Gami", "Kozo"(Mulberry) and "Mitsumata", which all grow naturally across Japan.

Master craftsmen utilize ,stencils, woodblocks and silkscreens to create exquisite patterns that resemble oriental textiles. The paper has a soft, pliable nature that accomodates the expressive, three dimensional shapes of the Washi Doll. It's a pure delight to work with.

Every part of this Washi Doll is cut, shaped and folded by hand. My biggest challenge is getting to know the nature of the paper.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Zaa Art Is Here

OK, so I'm a self -indulged, creative fanatic... semi-retired and living in Japan. I've had a thing for paper since childhood. My mother was always met at the door with a song, dance and a story, complete with a full cast of paperdolls.

Nowadays, my husband is the one who walks over the scraps, pencils, paints and paper. He smiles and says, Where's the paper, DOLL? I say, ' Honey, ZaaArt is here on my blog for everyone to see and ENJOY!!!! He sighs with relief knowing that all my creativity is online instead of on the livingroom floor.

Japan has had a long love affair with paper and paper fibre arts Currently I'm studying with a Washi Doll Master learning the art of Washi paper and 3- dimensional Washi Dolls. It's a journey into a very special culture that shares many exotic and ancient gifts. ZaaArt postings will include Paperdolls, Washi Dolls, ATC Trading Cards, and various art mediums and creative adventures.

You're invited to journey with me through Lotusland and ZaaArts of my world.