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Come Make the Perfect Paper for Your Folded Art!

Origamido® Custom Handmade Papers for the Origami Fine Artist

Schedule a custom papermaking session with us in Haverhill, Massachusetts!

raw materials   sheet forming  dry sheets  bat

From raw materials, to sheet-forming & drying the paper; to designing & folding the subject: an Origami Bat, by Michael G. LaFosse

"The folds are the bones; the paper is the flesh." - Akira Yoshizawa

Imagine being able to make the perfect paper for your origami. Since 1975 I have been folding my models from my own handmade papers. It has been a lifelong pleasure and an important part of my creative work in origami. Since 1996 Richard Alexander and I have collaborated with other artists at our Origamido Studio to do the same, and this breadth of experience makes us uniquely qualified to help you formulate and make the best paper for your origami.

We can help you produce a batch of paper of any strength, texture, thickness, color, or size you require. Our stock of high quality plant fiber includes: premium abaca, hemp, kozo, gampi, flax, cotton linters or rag, and others. We can process any of these fibers perfectly for your needs, and then help you blend, color, and form sheets of paper by hand. We only use artist-quality colorants (mostly inorganic pigments) to produce papers as colorfast as possible. We normally form from two vats, allowing you to choose two colors, which can be mixed. We also stock several grades of iridescent mica that can add "life" to your paper if your subjects are insects, flowers, aquatic creatures, or birds. Make it as subtle or as bold as you like - especially effective under bright lights in a gallery, or when on public display.

Up to three artists may share a workshop session, and all the sheets you form that day. On the second day of the three-day process, plan on arriving at 9 a.m. to pull sheets from the vats until about 5 p.m., then help press and move the sheets into the drying box so your paper will be ready the next morning! If you are staying in the area, you may take it with you (or we mail it to you). Our custom papermaking session is still only $500.00US plus expendable materials (budget approximately $50 more).

Reach us via e-mail at info@origamido.com or phone +1-808-927-5768 (We are on US Eastern Time.)

What is Origamido® paper?

Any custom paper formulated and made at the Origamido Studio carries our exclusive Origamido® registered brand. As co-founders, we (Michael LaFosse & Richard Alexander) have been working with origami artists for decades, making custom papers to produce long-lasting, unique, and exceptional examples of exhibition-quality origami art. We developed our special recipes and techniques at the Origamido Studio, first for our own works, and then for special works by other talented folders. These strong, supple blends of fibers allow the paper to be worked and reworked without typical paper fatigue or failure. Whether thick, or exceptionally thin, Origamido® papers are as responsive to the touch as is a fine musical instrument.

Origamido® papers may be folded dry, or wet-folded, depending upon the model. We feel the best qualities are realized when it is "back-coated"--pasting two or more sheets together, back to back, with methyl cellulose (MC) or starch paste, to make two-color, or even thicker sheets--and then wet-folded. "Live paste" techniques (folding with freshly applied MC or paste) work well, due to Origamido® paper's excellent wet strength.

origamido papers

Origamido® paper is custom-designed for artists' origami projects. Origamido Studio is open by appointment only.

Purchasing our paper

Although Origamido® paper is made primarily for our original origami sculptures; during production we often "bracket" the variables of color and thickness within a batch, producing more paper than we need. This is the paper that we offer for sale, and since each sheet is different, customers need to see and touch the paper before buying. Therefore, we only offer Origamido® paper in person, but should an artist desire more from a particular batch of Origamido® paper, which they have used before, sending a small sample of that paper to us will help us try to match it from remaining stock.

Tuition and fees:

Tuition for our Origamido® Papermaking Workshop is still only $500.  There is an additional materials fee of about $50. (Special fibers and pigments may cost more.)  You may invite one or two others to share the fees and papers you make, but we no longer have room for larger groups.

The entire papermaking process is takes three days, but you need only spend one full day here.  Bring old clothes and plan on getting wet (at least your arms). The first day of prep we do ourselves: setting up the vats, felts, and beating the first batch of pulp. We will be ready for you to color the beaten pulp and begin pulling sheets soon after you arrive.

Most students make two colors of paper, since we can set up two vats of pulp.  This allows you to make some “duo” papers. Most enjoy mixing colors to produce a cline of hues, but with less mixing, you can produce interesting and whacky papers. The most popular paper size is 16” by 20”.  We can make other sizes, but the larger the sheets, the lower the yield. Your paper needs to dry overnight. If you can’t stay, we will mail it.

Local Restaurants:

After the drying box is loaded, you may want to kick back and relax. Less than a mile to the east is the Restaurant & Arts District (42 converted, shoe manufactories on Washington, Essex, and Wingate Streets, all built after the Great Conflagration of 1882). You will find the Tap Brew Pub, and fancy dining at Blue Finn or Keon’s, as well as other bars, bistros and authentic Irish, Greek, Mexican or Thai fare. Later in the evenings, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, the music flows as abundantly as the beer! On a budget? Fast food abounds less than a mile away: Giovanni’s, McD, Athens Pizza, Papa Ginos, Dunkin’ Donuts, Oriental Gardens, and a 99 Pub/Restaurant.

Overnight Accommodations and Fun Things to Do Nearby:

If you would like to stay in the area, the Comfort Suites or Best Western motels are a mile away (at I-495, Exit 49).  Be sure to snag a travel coupon book at the Mass Pike rest areas or local McDonald’s restaurant for significant savings.

There are plenty of attractions nearby: Go east 20 minutes and explore the beaches, funky downtown Newburyport, Plum Island, Parker River National Refuge, the Audubon Center.  Go west and take in a performance at the Rogers Center at Merrimack College, a Lowell Spinners baseball game, or a Great Organ recital at Memorial Hall in Methuen.  Walk 15 minutes then hop the commuter rail into Boston for a play, nightlife, a Red Sox game, or head the other way by taking the Amtrak Downeaster to Portland, Maine.