Friday, May 22, 2015

paper bowls revisited

I've been on a quest to make a stitchable paper vessel, and now I have my answer. Konnyaku Starch! After my friend Cherryl, the queen of all things paper, gave me the solution, I wandered down to The Japanese Paper Place for one of their "Washi Wednesday" demos. To my surprise, the artist of the month was making vessels, very similar to the ones I've made in the past. Of course, I needed to add some of this starch to my stash (and we won't mention the paper I purchased)!!! Weeks passed, but I finally mixed up a batch, and was very pleased with the result. I didn't like stirring the mixture for 20-30 minutes, but the end result, of a smooth, clear, gell like paste, was worth it! I applied it to Washi paper, and after drying, it produced a strong, flexible, matte surface. Very pleasing to the eye and touch! Of course, the first thing I did, was try to bead on it. There is more surface tension than fabric, every needle mark shows, and you need to figure out how to hide the knots. But not really a problem. I've made three bowls so far. A large, small and teeny one. I've beaded on the teeny one, but then had to laugh! I had decided to bead on one side only, but when I set it back down, the bowl was so light, that it tipped right over. So I had to bead the other side. Something to think about!! A little plain right now, but they have huge potential! I made the large one, so that I could try machine stitch on it, and have also made a couple of flat pieces of washi, coated with the starch, to play with as well. I'll post again, after I finish experimenting.
I work with so much colour, that it's hard to believe that I'm working all in white! Don't you worry your pretty little heads about it, as I have plans.....big colour plans! Perhaps not for the first three, but definitely after that.

8 comments:

rachelm said...

Amri, I really think I like the white of these. white stitching on white? It'll be fun to see what you cook up with your bowls...

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Love the results of your current experiments!! Out of idle curiosity, would you be able to incorporate something like large washers from the hardware store for 'counter weights'? Perhaps wrap them in white fabric or yarn/thread to fit the colour theme??

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Thanks Rachel and MA!

Rachel, probably white stitching, to start, but I am toying with the idea of a spiderweb of red stitches, and a few beads, on the smaller one. We'll see!

MA, it might work! I'm actually toying with the idea of watch parts, so you're not far off. Wrapping the washers is a great idea though!


Marlene Brady said...

Beautiful. I love them.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Thanks so much, Marlene.......and welcome to my blog! I've made a couple more bowls, since this post, and am waiting for a small, square one to dry. I just had to use up the last of the mixed konnyaku, before it went bad. It apparently only keeps for one week in the fridge. I'm not ready to test that yet. I'll mix up some more in a couple of days,

Lynda Howells said...

Love this bowls ... so delicate looking. Just one question ... how do l made Konnyaku Starch? Please? :)

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

Thanks, Linda! I bought my starch from The Japanese Paper Place in Toronto, but I've also seen it on Amazon. The ratio is 1/2 tsp of the powdered starch, to one cup of room temperature water. Stir for 20-30 minutes to prevent lumps forming. Then set aside for 3-5 hours, stirring ocassionally. I normally prepare in the evening and use it the next day. Refridgerated, a prepared batch lasts approximately one week. If it's too thick, add some water before you use it. A little goes a long way! I apply with a sponge brush, but traditionalists would use a flat, wide Japanese brush.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

BTW, you need to look for Konnyaku Powder (paper strengthener).