ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Japanese paper is somewhere between paper and fabric. It’s easy to fold, mold, and manipulate.
It may seem odd, but St. Petersburg-based artist Julie Dye has loved paper her entire life. When you see her paper creations come to life, her appreciation for the medium becomes clear.
Julie uses origami techniques to create jewelry, journals, mobiles and more for her company, Blossom and Shine.
Her jewelry is dainty, geometric, and minimalist. It’s also fit for everyday wear and can easily be mixed and matched.
With more than 100 products in her line, she’s almost constantly crafting these special pieces of wearable art.
Julie began selling her paper beads about five years ago.
"A lot of times when people are looking at it they're like 'Oh, what stone is this?' and then when I explain to them what it is, they get really excited because they've never seen something quite like that before. That always makes me happy. That's my favorite compliment, when someone says 'I've never seen anything like this before,'" Julie explained
Her journals are hand bound with colorful patterns.
"I fell in love with the process of bookbinding when I was in college, and I really like the patterns on Japanese papers, which are similar to the kind of papers you would use for origami, so any way I could use those patterns to make something, I thought was really cool," she said.
She enjoyed making the journals, but they weren’t as popular as her jewelry.
All of her work is intricate and requires steady hands and patience, which Julie says is what draws her to the work.
"I think ultimately what I've realized is that I like working with my hands. It doesn't really matter what art form I'm doing, as I get to really be a part of the process."
To see more of Julie Dye’s Japanese paper products, visit www.blossomandshine.com.