Two years ago, the San Francisco Pen Show was rocked by the arrival of Yamamoto Paper and their Paper Tasting packets. The creators came across the ocean from Japan to share some of the many unique and different papers with western paper fiends.
These cellophane jewels each contain a stack of B7, A6 and B6 paper. Yamamoto organizes the paper tasting sets by color and includes a reference sheet that provides information about the paper included. The details are written in Japanese and English.
The information sheet also has a key indicating how suitable each paper might be for dip pen, fountain pen, ball point, gel and pencil. I think the circles mean the paper is good for the specific tool and the black triangle means it is not so good. Occasionally there is an X- mark which maybe means it’s okay? Or your mileage may vary? However you look at it, I appreciate that some effort has been made to at least try to provide some information in advance.
Each stack is held together with a bright silver bulldog clip. There are lots of sheets in each set, maybe 25?
Obviously, if you’re looking for writing paper, the black set will be most suitable for opaque gel pens and acrylic and metallic dip pen inks.
In the back of each packet, is one of two possible guides about Japanese paper. One provides details about the “hierarchy of paper” from newsprint and toilet paper to fine art paper.
The other guide provides details about how paper is printed.
The sets that are likely to be the most appealing to fountain pen enthusiasts are the Egg shell Vol. 1 and Silky Vol. 1. Both contain white and warm white/ivory stocks that are most common for writing. The largest B6 sheets are appropriate for letter writing and the smaller sheets would work well for notes. The Silky set includes a paper called Marshmallow which I fell in love with when I tried it in San Fransisco.
I feel terrible that I have done nothing but covet this paper for over two years. The colored paper sets are beautiful. The craft, translucent and egg shell sets beg to be written on and touched. This week I was finally inspired with ideas on how to utilize these papers to their fullest. My first idea came from a collage artist, Katie Licht, who I love. I plan to use some of these papers to create simple collages in my journals and art books.
Second, I plan to bind some of the larger sheets into a book so that I can use them. Last year, I made several books filled with mixed papers and being able to use these fountain pen-friendly papers would be amazing. I like using vintage found book covers so that will be my first challenge. Below are pictures pictures of some of the books I created last year.