O-Gami paper has been a process in the works since 2009. After much trial and error, and finally with the help of our friends Dr. Robert Lang and members of The Capital Area Paper Shapers (and our early-on customer-testers) we have succeeded in our goals of making a paper that can withstand water, even when it is super thin and even under the rigors of complex folding. O-Gami papers are crisp, strong, beautiful, and perfect for anyone who wants a superior folding paper, or paper for constructing projects that require large sheets with superior strength.
Thickness: Our paper come in three thicknesses: super-thin, medium and ultra. Super-thin (23gsm) was designed for super-complex folds, or any project that requires super-strong, water-friendly, tissue-thin paper. Medium thickness (68 gsm) is perfect for tesselations, geometrics, and less complex folds, according to Robert Lang. Our ultra papers (207 gsm) are perfectly suited to more sculptural work, or paper requiring a more dense body.
Composition and Paper Size: Each sheet is 22 x 28 inches and made from ababca and/or a blend of flax or hemp and abaca. This paper is so strong that in our studio we had a hard time getting it to tear, even when it was dampened and we were trying! Our customers tell us that they have unfolded their creations and then ironed the paper back to perfectly flat. Even our super-thin sheets may be thin as tissue, but they are all strong as steel. We use only the highest quality archival pigments and lusters. Our colors will not fade over time. We have worked hard on our color formulas to make sure they are reproducible, so we can offer sample booklets.
Non-Complex Folding Paper: New! We also offer O-Gami Heaven, our handmade abaca sheets, 22×28 inches. This paper is crisp and strong but does not withstand water. Please see our current exhibit and home page. (Monica Salisbury’s Blue Jay is made from this paper.) It is super shimmery and comes in about 40 gorgeous colors. We are offering these sheets at a special price of $12 each, because we cannot offer sample books. We can, however, send a small chip of each color you specify that you are looking for. Please contact us for information.
How we make our paper: For those who are unfamiliar with papermaking, it really “all happens in the beater.” To make O-Gami we use the strongest fibers available (abaca, hemp and flax) and, with the correct proportions of water to the fiber, macerate them in our Hollander beater. Then the pulp is pigmented and sized internally, and, after sitting overnight, it is drained.
Once the pulp is prepared it goes down to our production shop where we have a large vat in which to pour the sheets. To ensure uniformity in thickness, the pulp, which was drained, is then reconstituted and carefully measured into buckets. This measured pulp is mixed with more water and is poured over the mold and deckle.
To produce large sheets it takes two people. The pulp is poured over the screen, (which is lined with a pelon or thin sheet) and as the water is draining, our artists make sure that it is dispersed evenly to ensure perfect formation. Once it is drained, the sheets are then lifted off the mold and placed on a post. (A post is a layering of sheets on felts.) Once all the sheets have been poured and layered, the posts are put between two boards and placed in the press where they are squeezed dry.
Next, the pressed sheets are removed from the felts and placed on cotton linters in our dryer boxes, where they are further pressed and aerated for three days until they are dried. Once dried we (very carefully) peel each sheet from the pelon and place them in our paper drawers. Every sheet made in the O-Gami studio has the feel of exceptional, dedicated artists creating a superior, handmade product.
Robert Lang, who has been a gracious help and customer says, “This paper is thin, strong and beautiful and easily up to the most demanding of super-complex designs.” Please see his creations in our gallery.
Mottled: Our mottled sheets are simply gorgeous. Because no two are alike we cannot offer samples, but we can tell you the colors we used to mottle each 22 x 28 inch sheet. The colors are in our sample books, but you can also read color descriptions on our detail page. (For instance a paper may be made by mixing and swirling Tree Bark Matte and Naked Matte.)Remember mixed colors produce new effects. (if we mix burgundy wine with yellow, it may produce a rust-colored background for the paper etc) If you do not see any swatches below, it is because we are busy making or drying or peeling more!