Session 8 at Rathfarnham Educate Together NS
8th May 2014
At this workshop we decided to `step back` a bit from printing processes and I thought, let`s make handmade papers, unique, textured sheets that we can print on using our foam plates or collographs…. The SILK FIBRE PAPERMAKING process proved to be very inspiring and popular and I don`t think the finished pieces will be printed on as we already decided to make MORE silk fibre papers next week…:))
The SILK FIBRE PAPERMAKING process is indeed unusual and fascinating; a contemporary technique that is somewhere between traditional papermaking, experimental approaches and contemporary textiles.
It`s not `papermaking` in a very traditional way but some of the fibres produce a `paper-like` finish that can be written, painted or printed on.
We use untreated, raw silk fibres to build and shape sheets – or any other form – of silk paper. The combination of cold water (sprayed on the teased out fibres) and the heat of ironing activates a natural `glue-like` substance called sericin. The sericin is fusing the fibres together to bond the paper. The process is also referred to as `Silk Fusion Paper Making`.
We used fibre reactive cold water dyes to colour the silk paper, just before the ironing stage. The is a great level of unpredictability in the dyeing process and you need to exercise some constraint as the dyes are extremely strong and vibrant so `over-colouring` is a common disappointment.
Finished works are delicate looking but strong, lightweight and colourful, unique pieces – ideal for class room displays, mobile installations and can be used in other creative processes: sewing, stitching, embroidery, collage pieces, sculptural works etc.
So as I said, I`m not sure if they will be printed on, I think the class is looking forward to make more striking silk pieces!
For further info on SILK FIBRE PAPERMAKING: http://www.tundetothpaperart.blogspot.com