Monday, 24 August 2009

August part 2

Today, Helen showed us how to do Orizomegami. It's a method of dyeing folded rice paper with water-based dyes to give complex patterns. We each folded rectangles of two different weights of rice paper into small parcels. We dipped them quickly into a bowl of water to dampen the paper, and then dipped the edges or corners of the packets into bowls of ordinary food colouring. (Wear gloves! Food colouring loves to dye human skin!)

Then we pressed the packets between two small sheets of stiff cardboard and carefully unfolded the wet paper using tweezers or a paper knife. The paper can tear quite easily, depending on the weight of the paper. Then we laid the sheets out to dry.

The way the parcels were folded affected the pattern. We were also struggling with Sydney's spring winds, which chose today to arrive, and some drying sheets were splashed with falling droplets, which added to the interest. We also saved the drips from when the papers were pressed between the cardboard, and it gave interesting semi-blended colours, not always the brown that might have been expected. Although we all started with exactly the same papers and colours, it's remarkable how different they all are.

Here are Beverley's:

and Carol's:

These are Helen's own:

These were a collaborative effort for Tricia:

And these were Nola's:

See, all different! You can see the fold marks (this is a feature of this kind of paper dyeing) and how the folds affected the way the colour went into the paper. It's a very interesting technique, and easy to do with the minimum of materials. We talked about ways to use the papers. Obviously, most paper uses would be fine, but you could also adhere the paper to a cloth backing with diluted PVA glue, which would make the paper robust enough for stitch.

August part 1

We've had a quiet time at Fibrecircle lately. Each meeting since June, some members have been away, and we've mostly been working on our own things. But this month, we have made up for it.

Firstly, Beverley taught us how to do a Coptic binding on a book. Carol brought lovely papers for the book outer covers, and Nola contributed some parchment paper for the inner covers. First we learnt a clever technique for making no-glue covers.

You may have to think about this a bit when you do it. You take the outer cover paper and fold it over the stiffening, top, bottom and sides. You trim off the excess at the corners, leaving a small amount to turn under right on the corner. You do the same with your inner cover paper.

Turn in the top and bottom fold of the outer cover, against itself. Lay the stiffening on top of the wrong side, with the side flaps of the outer cover sticking out.
Turn in the side flaps of the inner cover, against itself. Lay it on top of the stiffening, wrong sides together, and tuck the side flaps of the outer cover in underneath it, over the top of the stiffening. Tuck the top and bottom flaps of the inner cover into the pocket formed between the outer cover and the stiffening. Presto! It's quite firm.

I won't attempt to explain Coptic binding, though! Here's what my book looked like:

And this is the binding:
Pretty, isn't it? I could have run the ends back into the book, but after knotting them off, I ran them through to the spine, because I think I will incorporate them into more embellishment on the cover.