Thursday, 1 April 2010

A Trip to the Library, Part 2

The next book I borrowed was A Guide to Making Decorated Papers by Anne Chambers.

Sorry, this was the best picture of the cover I could find.

Published in 1989, it's quite an old book, but still contains much valuable information. The history in the introduction was short but interesting. Of the 9 techniques, the ones I found most inspiring were paste papers, orizomegami and suminogashi. Paste paper involves cooking up a flour and water paste and adding colouring. Then you spread a layer of paste on your target paper and mark it using various methods. Once dry, areas of light and dark shading are created. This technique was quite exciting, because it's so easy and, with almost endless variations available, you can make a paper that looks funky and modern, or baroque and intricate.

paste paper - raspbery & blue, originally uploaded by lubsy1uk.

Orizomegami involves taking rice paper or another absorbent paper, accordion-folding it, and then dipping the corners in dye. I have seen this technique before recently, but using paper towels and not acknowledging its Japanese origin. I was a bit iffy on it then, but Anne Chambers' explanation of the process and her use of a more substantial paper was a lot more interesting to me. The illustrations showed some beautiful results, reminiscent of stained-glass windows.

Suminogashi is a close cousin of the more well-known marbling technique that uses oil paints swirled on a turpentine bath. This technique however, uses writing ink and water, which is much less messy and toxic. The result is a light, delicate marbling effect with a lot less effort than you would have thought.

I will be trying all of these techniques in the near future. Another interesting section was on rubber stamping - a concept that's pretty straightforward, but Chambers demonstrated some shapes and configurations that I hadn't thought of before. Using rubber stamping in combination with the paste paper decoration seemed particularly intriguing. I'm definitely glad I borrowed this book!

In other news, I'm going away on a mini-holiday for Easter! It's fast turning into a tradition that Boy and I go somewhere with lots of food and wine at Easter. Cos that's what it's all about, right? This year, it's the Mornington Peninsula:

ashcombe-maze, originally uploaded by thealexandertoddwilliams.

There's hedge mazes, too!

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