Friday, April 3, 2015
April 3, 2015
Over the last couple of days we have looked at the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi, focusing on its expression in Momigami - the process of making wrinkled, leathery paper. Now what do you do with that paper?
Centuries ago, the Japanese developed these processes to make paper suitable for clothing. What we are doing here is not that strong or pliable but certainly has features that make it useable to the artist.
It is quite adaptable. I have run it through my computer printer with text or images. I have also printed using India or other permanent ink:
You can paint or dye the surface before beginning the process:
Or paint it after the process, even immersion dyeing if that is something you want to do. Note how the oil gives the dye a mottled look:
Because of its adaptability, you can embellish this paper in numerous ways. Once "decorated", because of its strength, this paper makes excellent covers for handmade books, gift wrapping or gift bags, etc.
One feature I like as a textile artist is the pliability of the paper once it has been processed using the Momigami technique. It is almost as soft as fabric and can be used as such. In the sample I am following below, I wanted some brilliant red/violet flowers. While I could have done this on fabric, the texture of momigami paper was appealing.
Using mulberry paper and after oiling and rolling and pressing the paper, I prepared a thickened dye. I then used the thickened dye to monoprint the paper. I simply painted the thickened dye onto the top of a plastic food container, drew flower lines into the dye and "stamped" that onto the paper. I then cured the paper as if it were fabric. (Sorry I forgot to take pictures when I was doing the printing.)
This paper is very strong and it washes up beautifully in the kitchen sink with soap and sponge. (For this kind of cleaning, I make a concentrate of 1 part Wisk laundry detergent and 1 part Simple Green. I then dilute for use in a spray bottle.)
I then cut out the flowers, bonded them to the piece (I use Misty Fuse) and prepared it for embroidery later. Paper can be bonded to fabric very successfully but you often get a resulting stiffness. I find that the Momigami paper, pliable as it is, feels almost like the textile itself, plus it has an appealing texture
Thanks for the opportunity to share with you and if anything, I hope that I have given you some creative ideas that allow you to play as well as be productive.