Washi Umi o Koete: Paper from Across the Sea is a creative collaboration between Fife Dunfermline Printmakers and Mino Art Info, Japan and the results can be seen at an exhibition at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop which opened on 20 November and is on until 9 December.  The collaboration brings together the ancient Japanese tradition of Washi paper-making and the very best of contemporary Scottish printmaking.   ‘It’s been an amazing experience for our artist printmakers,’ said Sheila Carnduff, head of Fife Dunfermline Printmakers Workshop. We’ve been running as an artists’ cooperative for 30 years and this is the first time we’ve undertaken a cultural collaboration of this magnitude.’
Thirteen artist printmakers responded to the art challenge, each producing an edition of 10 prints.  Five different types of hand-made paper were used, selected for their unique fibres and tactile quality as well as their suitably for different types of printing – screenprinting, etching, collagraph, linocut and woodblock. We did a lot of experimentation to see how the paper reacted to the inks and different printmaking techniques.’
Mino is in Gifu province in central Japan.  The town was registered as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site in November 2014 for its traditional Washi papermaking technique. The advanced paper making technology has been part of the life of rural villages in Gifu province for more than 1,300 years. Master papermakers are regarded as national treasures in Japan and given great respect by the government and local community.
Above: Peaceful Crossing by Sheila Carnduff. Screenprint. Papermaker: Takanori Senda. £200 unframed
The artists are: Sheila Carnduff, Thora Clyne, Chrissie Heughan, Catherine King, Peter Kirley, Linda Lincoln, Robert Maclaurin, Bill McKechnie, Babs Pease, Clive Ramage, Stephen Ratomski, Aine Scannell, and Clare Yarrington.  The papermakers are: Masashi Sawamura, Takanori Senda and Yukiyo Terada
The project is grateful to have received funding from The Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and The Japan Society of Scotland