MMP Report: Visit to Tottori’s Inshu Washi maker

| published by MONO MAKERS MEET

Mae Engelgeer and Yohei Oue are collaborating on the MONO MAKERS PROGRAM. Currently, they are developing interior products using Washi paper, with the prototype stage concluding in February. They are set to unveil their new products for the first time at the Kyoto Gift Show in March. With the MMP ending at the end of March, the two are in the final stages of product development.

Mae, who is preparing to open a design office in Japan, is currently on a long-term stay in Japan. In February, she visited Inshu Washi maker in Tottori Prefecture guided by Yohei. The goal of this visit, as outlined by Yohei, was for Mae to witness the Washi paper production process firsthand, understand the essence of craftsmanship, and recognize her role as a designer in this project.

The destination of their visit was the Inshu Washi maker, Nakahara Shoten, located in Aoya, Tottori City. They were welcomed by the company’s president, Mr. Tsuyoshi Nakahara, and his son, Mr. Koji Nakahara.

At Nakahara Shoten, they toured the production site where Inshu Washi, which they
plan to use in their product development, is made. Witnessing the Washi paper
manufacturing process allowed Mae to grasp the distinct value of “Washi” compared
to machine-made paper. She expressed her desire to reevaluate Washi as a
material that also resonates with textiles and to create new value through this
project. They also had the opportunity to see prototypes of their collaborative
products made with recycled order Washi paper and discussed adjustments needed.

The first collaborative products include four cushions and one purse with straps.
These products are currently being unveiled for the first time in Japan at the Kyoto
Gift Show on March 6th and 7th!

We’ll keep you updated on the debut of these collaborative products. Stay tuned!


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