Report 1: In Shimane prefecture, Jonas Althaus is having an exciting introduction to Sekishu papermaking. Getting to know the history and all the processes of papermaking is important to further develop his idea.
Sekishu Kagura, a type of Shinto theatrical dance is still very popular in this area and an important element to understand Sekishu paper. In Sekishu Kagura paper masks are used for its performance which resulted in the development of creating a thicker and stronger paper.
Report 2: Jonas Althaus has visited shoji screen carpenters and uchiwa workshops to get to know more about washi paper applications. After the numerous introductions, he has finally started his exciting material research integrating conductive materials into the washi paper.
Report 3: Reflecting on the experiments of the past weeks, Jonas decided to focus on one methodology in order to conclude in a material that is ready for production and various applications. With a great help from craftsmen, he started a thorough material research, blending small pieces of conductive fibers into the washi paper ingredients.
Report 4: Through the intense material research, Jonas has figured out the material recipe, which made him to be able to focus on producing a good number of conductive washi paper. Over 30 sheets are scoped, pressed and dried so far. The design of the final prototype is also decided to be a glowing shoji room divider integrating the developed material and Kumiko technique (Japanese woodcraft technique). To execute the plan, a local woodcraft maker Yoshihara woodworks offered their help for making the wooden frame. The great teamwork of Jonas and all the craftsmen are making it possible to realize the innovative idea.
Report 5: Jonas has started applying the traditional technique of dripping water onto the freshly scoped sheet, creating a pattern. After the papermaking process, Jonas made a selection of papers to be used for the prototype of the glowing shoji room divider, checking the quality of all the papers made so far. Besides that, he prepared a system for setting up and coding for the touch-sensitive illumination. After receiving the wooden frames made by a local wood workshop, Jonas and craftsmen started to assemble the wood and paper into making triangular modules. First, they install the technological components (microcontroller and led lights), and later they cut and glue the paper to the frames. Using a lot of helps, 10 pairs of triangles has been made so far.