April Social Day

Some industrious people turned up for the social day on Monday as you can see:

Brenda was planning and cutting a set of concertina books.

Sue was making paper from Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) and using her Okra formation aid.  Don’t you just love the couching cloths?  A good use for old cotton tea towels.

Lou & Ang were making paper from Kozo.  They make beautiful lightweight airy sheets.  Looking forward to seeing them finished and dry.

Mandy started on a new piece of Joomchi.  Send us a picture when it’s completed please Mandy, everyone would love to see the finished piece.

Using the Joomchi method, Rhonda worked on a piece of Chinese cotton, teasing it out, folding, rolling and pulling, hoping to achieve a lacy effect.  You can see it’s starting to happen.

Using recycled cotton rag paper Claire made plain white paper.  One side is very textural, due to the pulping method, whilst the other is smooth.
By drying it against a window pane she has one very flat side which should be just right for printing on.

And then, of course, there was the social side to the day – the show-and-tell, the advice giving (and receiving), and a bite of lunch together.

Mandy and Jill gave some tips to Rhonda to help with her paper ‘lace’ making.  Rhonda, let us know how that comes out.

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Exploring plant fibre paper

Our member, Claire, has been making paper from a mix of recycled cardstock, pulped orange peel & pith, and banana fibre.  Here is a taste of what she has posted on her own blog:

Above: cardstock and orange peel being formed into sheets.

Above: finished sheets, having been dried on the window, plus close-up of orange peel inclusions.  Note how light in colour the paper is considering the colour of the original pulp mix.  The orange peel is very evident.

Above: Left to right – plain cardstock with increasing amounts of orange peel and banana fibre included.  Close-up of texture.

Above: Left to right – cardstock with increasing amounts of banana fibre included.  Close-up of texture.

Some great results, showing how plant fibres can create texture depending on how finely or coarsely they are pulped.  Click here for more details on how these papers were made.

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Exploring formation aid

Webmaster note: Sue recently added her recipe for creating formation aid from Okra to our Paper Bites page, today she discusses using Aloe Vera as an alternative.


Article by Sue Bradshaw:

I’ve found it’s more effective to use Okra than Aloe Vera as a formation aid.  I had to blend and pound the Aloe to release its mucilage and its composition was nowhere near as glue-like; the Okra did not need such brutality!

As it didn’t have enough structure I created some paper using the blended Aloe as well as its mucilage together with some dried Okra that I had put to one side.

When I can get hold of some Prickly Pear (Liz Powell uses that) I’ll try it out and let you know how it compares to these two.

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Exhibition: Forever Now

Timeless Textiles Gallery
90 Hunter Street
Newcastle East NSW
P: 0408 483 913

11 April – 6 May 2018
Opening 6-8pm Thursday, 12 April by Lyn Britton

Selected from works created by Schey over the last 25 years, the pieces in Forever Now showcase this acclaimed artist’s mastery of a diverse range of techniques, both within and beyond the Shibori genera.

Shibori is a Japanese word for wring or squeeze. It is used to describe techniques where a resist is used to leave a memory on cloth.  Some of the exhibition pieces have won prizes and others have been exhibited overseas including in China, Hong Kong, Japan, USA, Paris and the UK.

“I was reared in the days when ‘waste not, want not’ and ‘make do and mend’ were popular mantras,” she says.

Schey’s handwoven lacy jackets were inspired by her extensive travels in Thailand. Purchasing a small loom, she wove 150 to 185 squares for each jacket as she travelled.  The jackets have been widely exhibited (and collected) in Japan and Australia.  The smaller of the jackets on show was selected for The Lace for Fashion Exhibition at the Power House Museum, Sydney.

Also represented in Forever Now is a paper kimono made for an exhibition at The Palm House Gallery in Sydney Botanic Garden.  A triple-layered kimono has a layer made from lame, with metallic thread treated to form a geometric pattern.  The next is eco-printed with Australian gum leaves and overdyed, and the top layer is silk organza, treated with Arashi Shibori technique to allow the lower layers to show through.

Webmaster note: We are delighted to see our member, Barbara, holding this solo exhibition showcasing some of her work from the last 25 years.

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Exhibition: Diversion

Webmaster note: We are delighted to see work by our member Brenda Livermore in this exhibition.

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By (new PPA member) Sue Bradshaw:

On a recent trip to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast I discovered Heliconias.  They’re such beautiful plants I was compelled to make paper from their leaves.

The paper on the left of the image above is made with Heliconia fibre and formation aid made from Okra.

(Webmaster Note: I photographed Sue’s soaked okra and the formation aid she made.  I also stuck my finger in it – yep, it was super sticky and gooey!)

The middle section is the same paper run through my printer using a photo I took in the garden of a Heliconia (Lobster claw).  The paper on the right has some cartridge paper pulp added.

Heliconias are closely related to bananas – the shape of the leaves is quite lush and dramatic.

Some people grow them just for that. But for most gardeners the flowers are the main attraction, and the variety is dramatic.

*Note:  Sue has kindly supplied us with her method for creating formation aid from Okra, so visit our Paper Bites page to read how to make your own.

If you would like to learn more about Sue and her art click here to visit her member gallery page and see further samples of her work.

Would you like the recipe for making formation aid from Okra?  Click here to read Sue’s method.

Heliconia image: http://www.hortes.ee/shop/helikoonia/

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Tips & Tricks Day: Joomchi

WHEN:  Thursday 12th April, 10am start
WHERE:  Primrose Park Art & Craft Centre, Matora Lane, Cremorne, NSW
COST:  $10 members, $20 non-members
WHAT:  Joomchi

Joomchi is an ancient traditional Korean paper technique – creating paper from mulberry bark using just water. Up to 20 layers can be fused this way.

At its simplest it could be called a form of paper felting. The technique creates strong, textured surfaces that were at one time used as a substitute for cloth and used for clothing and bags.

It can be layered with colour, split and holed, stitched, painted, embellished or overlaid in a collage. Its uses are only limited by the imagination. Today it is used to make art, sculpture, surface design, collage, bowls, bags, clothing, etc..

Come and join Mandy as she starts the day by demonstrating and talking through the process, before you start your own experimentation.  As you practice and explore the possibilities, Mandy will be on hand to advise and guide you as you form your first sheets.

This is a great opportunity to learn a new skill, take inspiration from those around you and have fun creating a range of patterns and layered paper.  So come and have a play and take home some lovely, and unique, papers.


Mulberry paper – Minimum 4 sheets in variety of coordinated colours of:

  • Mulberry silk paper, available from Kadmium Art Supplies, 60 Bay St, Broadway. Each sheet is about 95 x 65 cm and costs about $6 per sheet. One sheet can be cut into 4 which will be the minimum needed to make an A3 joomchi sheet.
  • If you can’t get Mulberry get thin Kozo paper with long fibres showing. Another paper that works is Chinese paper from Leung Wai Kee Buddhist Craft & Joss Stick Shop, 764 George St, only available in off white.
  • Eckersley’s, Parkers and Sydney Art Store don’t have mulberry paper on their websites. Amazing Paper has kozo at $14 a sheet.
  • If you would like to try using handmade paper only bring pieces that have long fibres that can be fused together.

Brush – 2” – 3” wide house painters brush to brush air bubbles out
Plastic container for water or a water spray bottle for wetting paper
Paper cutting scissors
Plastic sheet to cover and protect work surface
Plastic bags to take pieces home in


  • Dark coloured waterproof markers if you feel like trying to incorporate drawing into your paper.
  • Embroidery cotton for inclusions.

NOTE: If you find it hard to get the mulberry paper, Mandy can buy some for you. Pay her on the day, but you must let her know well in advance so she has a chance to source the correct items for you.  Click here to contact Mandy.

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