Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The real thing - Japanese books

I picked up these books at Kazari today. The bookworms have had a real go at the account book.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oriental Binding

I'm running a couple of classes at home this Sunday and Monday on Oriental Binding. The two bindings we'll do are an account book and a toji binding (Stab).

Account book binding with indigo dyed paper and thread.

The pages prepared for the toji binding.

The finished binding with a double stitch variation.


The white book has a single thread variation of the toji binding.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Plant fibre workshop

I'm nearly ready for the workshop but I should be out in the cold washing some of the cooked fibre and running a couple of batches through the beater but here I am still at the computer! I need to get on with the IAPMA newsletter but that might have to wait until Monday.

Yesterday I beat the artichoke heads for about 1 hour and half of the Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise plant) for 4 hours, I left the other half for hand beating so that we have a comparison and I wanted some overbeaten for the Sunday workshop where we'll cast over rice bags and make watermarks. I want to beat the tussock grass and the ginger lily. The tussock is ready to go but the ginger neads lots more washing.

I made up a couple of little samples of the artichoke and the strelitzia. The artichoke paper is on the left.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Indigo Dyeing

We had fun at Yabbers yesterday with some Indigo and rust dyeing. I'll be using my sheets for some oriental bindings. I mostly used some chinese ricepaper which held together pretty well.

Here is the recipe I used for Indigo.

Indigo Dyeing
2 litres water
1 heaped tablespoon caustic soda
1 tablespoon thioureadioxide
1 tablespoon indigo

Add 1 heaped tblspn NaOH to 2l water add 1/2tspn thiourea dioxide & stir gently to dissolve. Sprinkle 1 tblespn indigo on top stir gently to dissolve then sprinkle on other ½ thiourea dioxide.
Allow to stand at least 30 mins. A shiny scum or ‘flower’ appears on the surface of the dye.
When the water turns green the vat is ready to use. Test with a small piece of wet white fabric. Cloth must turn green on removal from the vat and will begin to oxidise and turn blue.
Vat may be revived by adding hot water, more thiourea dioxide and a small amount of NaOH

Technique – wear gloves and old clothes
Add wet fabric, threads, paper or pulp leave threads and cloth in for 10-20 mins do not agitate, you can redip to increase colour.
Dilute liquid before disposing.

And the rust recipe I use:-


Materials required
Paper can be handmade or commercial. Try paper with printing and paper with texture for special effects
Ferrous Sulphate (available from nurseries) Fe2(SO4)3
Caustic Soda NaOH (available in supermarkets with the draino)
Strong Black Tea
Lemon Juice
Newspaper or cartridge to dry paper on.

Two recipes:-
From Margaret Mason
“This information came from Adele after doing her workshop at Forum. Mix 250gr of sulphate to 4 litres of water. also have a tray of strong TEA Caustic soda - 1 tablespoon to 4 litres of water Lemon juice works well too. Dip from one to the other or use a brush, I used a brush for the best results. Most green turns to black. You will get browns, orange and yellow with this combination. Have plenty of various types of paper and all day to play because once you start you will not want to stop. Try various combinations, not necessarily all at once. For extra add gesso to paper and let dry then add above. Let papers dry for a couple of days, then wash - do not rub. Work with a second sheet underneath particularly if using thin paper; you then get good patterns on the second sheet. Finish - can cover with 1/2 diluted PVA and 1/2 satin varnish or gloss varnish. Can also use clear sealer.”

And Toni Smith

“Marie Waterhouse and I have been doing some rust dyeing lately. We have a recipe from Mary Ann Hatcher which is: 250g. Ferrous Sulphate dissolved in l litre warm water and l tblsp. caustic soda in 2 litres of cold water. Dip into rust solution, remove and allow excess to drip off before immersing in caustic soda solution. Remove and lay on plastic to oxidize. The surface will change from grey-green to rusty orange-yellow over about 15 mins. After 15 mins. rinse well in fresh water. We have only been dyeing sheets of paper, haven’t tried a whole book. I've been drypoint embossing on the paper. I've got some stencils, just plastic ones, but they look quite good - especially an Aboriginal style lizard, which looks as though it is coming out of rock. Marie has been making some wonderful "landscapes", she hasn't been rinsing the paper at all.”
This is my white book craft book which I dipped in indigo and then into rusting solution i.e. iron sulphate then dilute caustic soda.

I plan to dye some strelitzia fibre in the indigo I have left, I have it beating at the moment. Here is another picture of the artichoke heads I cooked the other day and a picture of them cooked and washed pre beating.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Books and Plant fibre

These books are some mock ups I made for a class of school students who have two hours to learn some bookbinding. They have each been given four canvas boards for their covers. I'll probably go with the album binding with the oriental stitch, since it took me almost two hours to make the other one and that's not counting painting the card. It's quite a nice binding though sewn sections into a concertina then straps through the stitches to hold it all together.

This week I've been cooking up lots of fibre for my class at the weekend. I was also helping Mike prepare the vege patch for planting so I cooked up some couch grass and I thought I'd try these globe artichoke heads which had been drying on the stems for months, they never got to a stage where they looked edible. The pulp feels Ok now that it's cooked but we'll have to wait until the weekend to see how the paper turns out. Apart from the couch I've cooked up asparagus stems (I'd been freezing them since spring, each time we had asparagus for dinner I'd throw the woody ends into a bag in the freezer), strelitzia leaves and stems which had been retting for nearly a year, dried tussock grass and I've chopped up all the ginger lily I had in the garden but need to find some more to fill the pot. This afternoon I also cooked up some Philodrendon bracts as pictured below, they need more cooking tomorrow, they are great in baskets so should be good in paper too.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Felted scarves

Well it has been some time since I wrote anything here. Too much on my plate at the moment so this will be short and sweet. It has been so cold and rainy here I've hardly been outside though I haven't been spending that much time on the computer either. I decided to make some scarves for the Alcove exhibition so that kept me busy for a few days. Here are some very bad photos of the scarves I made last week and one I made last year in-situ at The Alcove Art Shop in Box Hill. I had lots of fun doing it and just couldn't stop but I have to get back to making some paper, the first job is 75 sheets with flowers and seeds, then some for dyeing. We are doing indigo dyeing at Yabbers next week, just to keep with the blue theme, I therefore need to clear up my shed for work and I need to cook up some plant fibres in preparation for my workshop on the 14th and 15th at Box Hill. Busy, busy, busy and I need to make some time for ART!