Recently we visited a one of a kind shop which specializes in paper cutouts that are cut and glued together in such a way as to produce beautifully constructed
paper masterpieces. From simple and practical components, these materials are turned into three dimensional figures that are layered together, designed and painted. These are the products of Papier Tole Shop that can be found in the historic fortress of Intramuros. Michelle Tsai the owner relates how the idea of making this a business came about. It was actually her mother and her friend that started it all. It was their just hobby playing and making things out of paper. They noticed that what comes out of their “play” is a thing of beauty and they then thought of making this into a business. What they make is much different from the ancient art of Origami. Though both arts uses similar medium, the techniques differs. In Origami “paper folding”, the materials are folded several times to make different shapes and designs while in papier tole its an entirely different technique as Michelle explains
“yung papier tole 18th century pa which mans paper to rise. It is used as decorative art sa mga furnitures then nagevolve sa decopage, parang to cut layers of paper na nakaangat para maproduce ng three dimensional products”
From what we’ve seen on how they manufacture one item we can say that it is a very meticulous work considering that you have to be attentive to the details
including the dimensions of the item being made. Michelle adds that at the onset the whole production team (her included) spends late nights at the work stations to perfect their craft. It takes two to three days for a simple design item to be finished but customers will have to wait for a week for complicated and extremely detailed items.
She is very pr oud of her products “kami lang ang nageespecialize sa mga papier tole. Our products are handmade and eco friendly.”
Classical to modern designs type of designs and custom made products can be purchased here. They already evolved into a gift shop since tourists regularly visits their store. So if you want to buy decorations or displays on a relatively low price why not visit Papier Tole shop and find the beauty that can come out of paper
(Aired on Bread n Butter Episode 63)
Arlene: An idea of the French but given the touch of Filipino ingenuity, this is how Papier Tole can be described in the simplest of ways. I personally like those small cute stuffs they make because I like giving gifts to my friends once in a while. Their products sells as one of the cheapest in the market and beautifully crafted at that.