Sunday, 30 November 2014

An Exciting Workshop

Yesterday I attended a Society of Bookbinders workshop on Japanese papers and got very excited. The tutor was Clare Prince who talked to us all morning about Japanese handmade papers and how they are made. In the afternoon, we all repaired books using Japanese paper. I will get round to that later but in the meantime the exciting bit. Which was that the Japanese use what I think of as textile techniques to decorate paper! For instance
Indigo dyeing. The tutor had several fine examples of graduated dyeing with indigo and, surprise, surprise, some examples of shibori!! The above is very delicate. Most of the examples I saw were robust, dark dark blue/black shading to the palest of blues.

And even more surprising, examples of katazome. Katazome is where you stencilled onto the fabric (or paper) with resist resist, then dip the object in indigo or dye, then wash off the resist. These papers are very high quality and have been over dyed in several colours.
 And these examples are bingata which is a stencilling technique from Okinawa. So what are the dyes used, apart from indigo? They are natural dyes with the handmade paper and use things like alder cones and paulownia.

I have acquired instructions on how to dye paper with indigo and intend to try this out. Any handmade paper I have in store is certainly too heavy so I will have to buy some Japanese paper.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.