I’m Precious Paper owner Katharine Kinney. I design and produce paper jewellery and decoupage items which I sell at Belfast’s St George’s Market and at occasional other events.
The Sunday market
I started my craft stall 2 years ago when St. George’s first started opening on Sundays as well as having food markets on Friday and Saturdays. Belfast City Council wanted a venue that reflected the diversity of the Arts and Crafts available here in Northern Ireland and this more craft-orientated market has a wonderful atmosphere full of colour and originality. It is open from 10.00 until 4.00 and is situated at the bottom of May Street near the Law Courts, not far from Central Station.
Precious Paper’s upcycling ethos
I enjoy making the beads and frames and everyone who visits the Precious Paper table seems to understand the ethos and reasoning of what I am doing. I want to show that unusual objects and beautiful functioning jewellery can be made from an underrated resource such as paper.
Paper beading and decoupage were popular past-times in the Victorian era when paper journals, newspapers and magazines began to be cheaply printed and distributed. Pictures were cut out and stuck onto large screens, fireplace screens, tea trays, and keepsake boxes, and paper was used to make beads.
Traditionally long tubular beads made of paper in Japan were called ‘washi’ beads. In the depression in the 1930′s this hobby again had a revival with people having to “make do & mend”. When the AIDS epidemic hit Africa in the late 1980′s, an Irish missionary’s wife remembering her childhood past-time suggested it was a product that womens’ groups could do in their own villages and earn cash by sending these mzuri beads abroad.http://www.mzuribeads.com/
Unique and durable jewelry
So I am not claiming to be totally original, however all my beads are handmade, unique, and lovely colours. They are a lot more durable than anyone would believe and although I do warn my customers that the beads would not fare well if immersed in a bubble-bath or worn while surfing, they do have two coats of varnish and I have been wearing mine for two and a half years on a weekly basis and they still look great!
The mirrors and photo-frames that I make are totally individual and unique and no two are alike. I often make custom-made items and will take orders for speciality themes.
At Christmas I make paper and wire “lucky Stars” selling them for a charity that I support. see http://www.facingafrica.org/