Kids homewares with a short story in Australia
Who is Short Story?
Melbourne company Short Story was formed in 2009 by friends William Du and Carolyn Wong. The pair both had business rather than artistic backgrounds but were huge fans of origami (the Chinese and Japanese paper folding art) and produced their first origami butterflies box frame before going on to make their origami little red dresses, origami elephants and other folded paper origami box art frames.
The name originates from the idea that the pair tell stories using quality art work which they sell as home wares and décor accessories. The original origami art works were joined soon afterwards by paper jewellery, for instance. Then natural-burning soy candles came along, as did string lights, stationery and even gift cards. The latter items in particular very much emphasise the ‘personal touch’ which was so redolent in days gone by with letter writing (as opposed to today’s electronic e-mail communication) and which Short Stories are keen to revive and celebrate through their range of products.
The origins of origami
The paper folding technique was actually first introduced to the world by the Chinese in the 2nd Century BC. It was then adopted by the Japanese who went on to hand make and even print their own paper using silkscreens.
The name origami is made up of two small Japanese words – ‘ori’ and ‘kami’ which mean ‘to fold’ and ‘paper’ respectively. ‘Tough Samurai warriors were said to have swapped gifts of good luck tokens comprised of folded strips of paper.
Meanwhile paper folding can be traced back to Europe as long ago as 1440 and a folded box. The art was revived again in 1954 and today there exist organisations such as the British Origami Society and OrigamiUSA.
Paper used in Short Story products
The pair use mainly Japanese Washi paper to produce their sought-after art works. This is paper which is silk screen rather than digital printed and takes as long as 40 minutes to dry, with each sheet of paper individually layered.
Having said that, William and Carolyn aren’t averse to adding Italian, Indian and Thai handmade paper to their gift collection as well when they are seeking a little variety.