After we got introduced to making paper.......Nancy Bruce had more in store for our Fiber Junkies lesson last week.
Next she led us through the process of making silk paper.....the depth of Nancy's knowledge is nothing short of amazing.
Again, she began by sharing some resources....here's one....
This is an example of Nancy's art, featuring silk paper, fibers, and other embellishments. It's beautifully framed.........no detail is too insignificant for her to overlook......her work is very professionally presented.
Detail (piece created by Nancy Bruce)
To begin we layered a plastic bag on our lipped tray. Nancy likes to recycle empty cereal packages for this task. It's covered with a larger piece of nylon netting, (lightweight window screening is inexpensive and sturdy). Half of the screen is fitted over the plastic, the other half is folded back for now and will cover the fibers when they are in place.
We were able to choose from these silk fibers which Nancy had dyed.....the piece in the lower front are fibers that have been pulled from the ropes of silk.
Here's my tray......I pulled long wisps. The design on the left was arranged in straight but overlapping lines, on the right, I used heavier sections of the silk fibers, crisscrossing some of the sections.
Now it's covered with the rest of the netting and sprayed with soapy water till wet. This step helps to control the fibers as they are quite fly away otherwise.
Now, using a glue like mixture and a stencil brush, we thickly painted the fibers through the netting. Nancy had pre-made this mixture using a product similar to Sulky's Solvy (a clear stabilizer that dissolves completely in water.) It acts like a clear glue which stiffens and holds the fibers together.
Once our fibers were soaked with the dissolved stabilizer.....we used our fingers to work the fibers together....similar to felting wool roving. When the fibers began to migrate up through the netting, it was time to carefully peel away the netting and continue shaping our pieces. Additional 'glue' can be added as you work......it must be wet to shape.
My two completed pieces are leaf like, now drying in the sun on the right side of the table....above the sponges.
Here's a piece of silk paper that Nancy made......note how stiff it is. She can use it as a single piece or perhaps cut it into sections to incorporate into other designs.
Each member in our Fiber Junkies group has mastered more than one technique....the purpose of our group is to share them with each other. I think my retirement plans need to be pushed up.....how will I ever have time to explore all these fascinating avenues when I'm away travel teaching so much??? But.....it won't be long......
But wait......we weren't finished for the day.......stay tuned.......next I'll share the wool felt/bamboo rayon embellished flowers we felted!! Thank you Nancy....