Located in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood, Au Papier Japonais is a Japanese paper shop specializing in washi paper products and paper courses and workshops. The store was set up by husband and wife duo, Lorraine and Stan, in 1993 on Avenue Fairmount.
Stan says that when they first moved here, Mile End was a ghost town, but has since then developed into a creative neighbourhood. Nestled in this artistic setting, Au Papier Japonais offers an astounding array of Japanese paper of different colours, patterns, weights and textures as well as paper accessories and a one-of-a-kind book section in Montreal for paper-related interests. The store also offers numerous paper-related courses, including origami, book-binding and the latest Iphonograph course about using apps to make art. Washi’s inherent low-acidity, unique qualities and appearance attract all kinds of artists, craftspeople, designers, small presses, conservators and photographers.
Introducing an Ancient Tradition to a New Generation
The couple first encountered Japanese washi paper in 1984 at what was then the only Japanese paper store in Toronto. The store owner nominated the couple to open the first Japanese paper store in Montreal. In 1993, Lorraine and Stan liquidated their assets and drove to Montreal, noticing that they were the only ones going against the traffic flow from Montreal to Toronto. As purveyors, teachers and artists, the couple has opened doors to a new generation by interpreting an ancient tradition of pure dedication. This is true of people coming to find a gift, like an original card, a bestselling Buddha Board, or spinning paper lamps from The Magic Lamp Company.
Through Au Papier Japonais, Lorraine and Stan present Japanese paper as an art and communication medium that transcends boundaries, showing their neighbourhood a way to unite traditional creativity with modern art.
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