So, here it is.
This body of work brings together two of my passions - books and all they entail, words, stories and paper; and weaving in the form of Shifu. I am influenced by the Roman rhetorician Quintillian, who taught that after we have chosen our words, we must weave them into a fabric until we have a fine and delicate texture.
Shifu is a traditional Japanese technique of turning paper into cloth which originated in the 16th c. Legend has it that a spy had to cross enemy lines to deliver an important message and to avoid being caught he cut the message into strips, twisted it into fibres and wove it into cloth and clothing so he passed through unnoticed. On arriving at his destination, the fabric was unravelled and the message delivered. Realistically, rural peasants and farmers were the first to make cloth from paper and they often used old account books because the paper was strong and the characters on the page made interesting speckled patterns.
To make the Shifu, I use Nepalese paper called Lokta and the process is described on my previous blog and an earlier on called Shifu, Weaving Paper. I like the idea that the text is present in the page but no longer decipherable. Hopefully, it allows the reader to imagine their own story, cued by the title.
I have made 4 books - In Conversation, Shifu, a short history, Sonnets, lines by E B Browning and Between the Lines. Three of the books measure 8 x 10 cm and one, the history is 10 cm square.
In Conversation was the one I submitted to the Books...beyond words; Revolution. My revolution was that the words were in the page not on it
|I used red and purple inks to denote the different speakers.|
Shifu, a short history. The cover of this is made from shifu and the small piece added with the eucalyptus flower was an experiment.
|The writing is like weaving.|
Sonnets; Lines from E B Browning. I love her book called Sonnets from the Portuguese.
|The binding is plaited Shifu.|
|The text makes interest patterns.|
And the last is Between the lines because I wove plain pages and stitched them for you to write your own story.
|Some of the stitching|
I have amused myself imensely playing with these trifles.
Small things amuse ... me!!!!!!!!!!!!