Posters 30x40cm, Notebooks 13x18cm 160 pages, Postcards 10x14cm
Screenprint and digital print
The handcrafted Dó paper is made from the bark of the tree Rhamnoneuron balansae. The main use of the paper has previously been traditional hand painting.
In 2015, I visited one of the families who still practice this old craft in northern Vietnam. When I first stepped into the family courtyard, I saw pieces of bark scattered on the ground to dry in the sun. In one of the courtyard corners two women were sitting down on very small stools, with knives to cut away damaged pieces of bark. Opposite them was a large, stationary cement water basin, where dried bark particles were soaked. Another woman was standing there to strain the particles in a rectangular screen with a wooden frame. What she filter out of the water will later become sheets of paper. After perhaps millions of filtering motions, she works obviously very fast and skilled; filtering and transferring the wet, thin sheet to the top of the already finished pile on his left. An impressive work!
In the room behind the woman I see a turquoise wall, patched with sheets of paperg, probably hanging there to dry. We enter yet another room where a man sits and separates single sheets from a large pile of paper. He explains that the thickness of the final sheet depends on how many layers of paper he takes when he separates them. I get to test the special separation technique, just using my hands. It takes quite a few tries before I manage to separate an entire sheet without destroying the fragile fiber. It makes me realize the craftsmanship behind every single part of the process of Dó paper, from the beginning of handling the raw bark to separate the final, individual paper. And after that, the hand-bound notebooks and screen printed patterns.
Thank you to all customers purcasing one of my products. You support not only my job as an artist, in the startup of my own company where I want to focus on sustainable production and design. You also support an effort to preserve this old craft and the Vietnamese families who still practice it.
Remember that this is a craft product. It has a beautiful structure and is stronger than many other factory-made paper products, but the surface is fragile and the pressure can get tornedd if you're not careful. If you live in a rainy country I recommend you to use a book cover for notebook and an envelope for the postcards.
Thank you to the organization Zo project, a social enterprise from Hanoi, Vietnam, who have helped me produce these products