Sunday, 8 July 2012


A while back I saw that Beautiful silks in Fitzroy were having a Natural Dye Symposium and that one of the workshops was called Shifu and making miniature books. As I very inerested in things miniature, I enrolled without having investigated what Shifu is. Shifu involves cutting very fine paper, lokta, into strips like a paper lantern, then cutting it to have a continuous strip then spinning this to make a paper thread with which you weave to make Shifu.

A ball of spun paper

My first attempt.
As you can see , my first  attempt is not very even due to the fact that paper under strain breaks and I broke several warps.  However for a first attempt I thought it not too bad.  There were 9 in the class and I am very glad I did it as 2 of the other participants were also tutors at the Symposium. The tutor was Velma Bolyard and this was her first trip to Australia from  the USA and the students came from the eastern states of Australia and NZ.  We also made miniature book structures including one called a flag book which when you use different cououred papers is eally interesting.

Diligent  workers.
It was a very intense class and most people would baulk at the thought of spinning paper (it takes hours).
Velma had some gorgeous shifu books and one day (?) I hope to have 1 too. I have put  a link to her blog in my links.


Mary said...

Hi Glennis, I would certainly baulk at spinning my own paper! But what you have shown looks very interesting. I really like the texture.

Michelle said...

Wow, that is fascinating! I've never thought about spinning *paper* before!

Glennis said...

Hi Michelle

Good to hear from you. It was a really interesting 3 days. Because of that, I have had to ask for extension on both the assignments that are due next week. How are you keeping up. Love the new house.

Glennis said...

Hi Mary
I like the texture of it too and the look of it. As you get better at spinning the paper, it becomes stronger. We put marks on some sheets and I wrote with a brush and black walnut dye and black ink. One day, when I have nothing else to do, I intend to spin that paper and make it into a book.

Velma said...

hi glennis! what a treat to read your lovely blog and to read your thought on the class. you worked hard and it was a steep learning curve, but i think on day three everyone felt things falling in to place. i will bookmark your blog and drop in from time to time. it's well done.

Glennis said...
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Glennis said...
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