Shizen Handmade Papers have always been an A&C customer favorite so I decided to get the back story from Shelly Pinto of Shizen Design.
Shelly and Neil Pinto are the “retro-creative souls” behind Shizen Design. Having met in Kansas City while Shelly was working for a well-known greeting card company, the couple quickly bonded over a mutual interest in paper, painting, and designs evocative of nature. And in doing so, Shelly and Neil fused their passions and skills into Neil’s existing Handmade paper line. That is how Shizen Design was born.
'Shizen' - the Japanese word for nature - is what the company is all about, according to Shelly: “The nature of human beings, the nature of trends, the nature of design - and of course nature itself.” This is reflected in the fantastic designs and papers of Shizen which, like nature, are constantly evolving, updating, and changing out their colors and patterns. “It’s almost like a work of art in itself,” says Shelly of the company. Now nearly 25 years later, Shelly and Neil are still involved with the design process, working closely with a manufacturer in India to make new collections of the Shizen Design papers and journals currently available through Artist & Craftsman Supply.
Here is a video showing the detailed process that goes into creating Shizen papers and at minute 2:40, you can really see them putting the 'hand' in 'handmade'.