Handmade Paper

You can find delicious papers from all over the world these days, and many of mine come with stories attached. One, from the mountains of Japan, is called "raindrop paper," because when each sheet is made, water is dripped from above onto the pulp, which makes little irregular holes in the final, very spidery sheet. Another, from Tuscany, is called "straw paper" (cartepaglia in Italian) and was once used to wrap vegetables at village markets. Yet another is actually 40-year-old wallpaper full of rich golds and browns.

In my closet hang sheets of every color and texture, some so fine you can see through them, others so thick and full of fiber you'd hardly be able to tear them.