Sunday, November 7, 2010

On Paper

Even as a child, I have been enamored with paper and collected all sorts of stationary made in Japan, Italy, and India to name a few.

I grew up watching my mother writing on delicate handmade Japanese paper with flowers she pressed. My father created customized stationary for me out of postcards, pictures, maps, adding his own line drawings, and taught me to write in gothic calligraphy.

For the past 25 years, my correspondences have crept away from handwriting on stationary to clicking away on my keyboard along with the rest of the world. I still buy stationary and crafted paper, but have succumbed to collecting -- hoarding -- as stationary stores have slowly disappeared.

While sightseeing in Columbus, Michael and I became giddy when we peered into the doorway of On Paper, a stationary store on N High St. The space is small, but well utilized, and beautiful with it's creaking wood floors and red brick walls. Many of the stores in Short North have creaking wood floors and red brick walls, it's almost a cliche.

Short North On Paper
On Paper

Bill and Bug humored us by walking in. Bug, an avid reader, was disinterested once he reached the back of the store having seen nothing but blank paper, quickly walked out. Bill was more interactive with the table props.

At the entrance, various contemporary paper hang likely printed in Italy judging by its texture. For me, images and color are half of the stationary. The other half, the half that ultimately draws me in, is the texture.

For serious writers, I am sure the preferred texture would be an extremely smooth finish. I prefer paper with rough textures, knobs, crevices, imperfections...earthy (an overused word, I admit, but it perfectly describes my tastes, in art and food...or is it one and the same?).

Along with the large variety of paper, hung on display, over racks, and stored in long wooden shelves, printed paper from rococo Italian to Bauhaus, there are numerous small batch, handmade cards for every occasion.

On Paper Menagerie

Recently, I read a poll asking whether it should be mandatory for schools to teach children to write in cursive. The first thought that comes to mind is, "why bother when everyone sends email or text messages?" It may be my old age showing, but a handwritten letter means considerably more to me than a typed response. I have received and been guilty of quickly shooting off an email response without consideration. I believe that teaching children to write in cursive is a form of meditation - teaching one to focus, to think before one "speaks."

Well, if it is just about meditation, why not replace it with yoga or tai chi? Hmm, I'll get back to you on that.

- Cassaendra

On Paper
737 N High St
Columbus, OH 43215
Tel: 614 424-6617

2 deep thoughts:

Michael 21 November, 2010 23:55  

I miss your letters...

... did you know that I saved a couple of your letters that you wrote to me when we were in college?

Cassaendra 24 November, 2010 00:03  

Hi Michael,

What?! Just a couple? I'm kidding!

Ahh, those were the days! You continue to have beautiful penmanship!

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