Paper sheet detail
Embossed watermark



Watermark, handmaking paper, japanese traditional method



inclusion in paper
Laces inclusion


When paper becomes Art

His departure for Japan in 1997 constitued a turning point in J. M. Letellier’s carreer.
There at Mr Minoru Fujimori’s Hall of Japanese Hand Made Paper, he was initiated to Japanese paper production techniques.

The Japanese government gives the title of “Living National Treasury” to people with precious cultural knowledge, like Mr Fujimori, who taught J. M. Letellier the nagashizuki method.

J. M. Letellier then spent two years in Nepal, as a paper designer for Lama-Li.
There he put into practice his Japanese experience within this local company, where he managed the production unit. A unique opportunity for him to experiment with new fibers...

As the laureate of an A. F. A. A. grant in 1999, J. M. Letellier became artist in residence at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto (Japan). In this artistic environment, he turned his research towards producing paper sheets with watermarks, a process that he revisited in his own personal way.

In the museum-workshop of Yamakawa-cho, he invented free watermark. Concretely, he used all sorts of ustensils - hoses, sprays, watering cans, shower heads, etc... from jets to drops - to project water onto the paper during the production process.

Another technique consisted in putting metal shapes on top of the sieves which he filled with pulp to obtain either opaque or transparent shapes.

A landmark of this period was the creation of a series of large panels around the themes of totems and the moon.

He was then invited as an artist in residence to the small village of Imadate - craddle of Japanese paper where this tradition has been maintained for 1500 years -. He could not have dreamt of a better environment to continue his work.

In one of the 40 workshops of the village, he developped an inclusion technique. This time, he embedded various materials - laces, bamboo sticks, scotch tape cuttings, wires... - into the sheets. The result is halfway between watermark and embossing, a combination of the artist’s play on alternated opacity and transparency.

J. M. Letellier now lives in Paris, but he keeps his bond with Asia alive.

His European exhibits are widely praised in the world of designers, who see his works as offering them a whole new potential field of creation and production.