Exploring paper weaving

Yesterday at our group social day I was interested in the paper weaving being done by our member Dinah.  She’s currently one of many people worldwide who are undertaking an on-line paper weaving workshop with Helen Hiebert.

Although only part way through the course I was impressed with the weaving Dinah has so far created. 

The basic concept of weaving isn’t too hard to grasp but what makes each piece unique are the papers chosen and the variety of ways the paper can be cut.  As Dinah showed, you don’t just have to cut even straight strips and combine them.  If you think a little more creatively you can come out with some extremely effective results.

In the example above left she has cleverly taken a bold plain green paper and combined it with a very regular geometric design on her second sheet.  By cutting her green sheet into straight but variable width strips and her dot paper into slightly tapering lengths she has added interest to the overall outcome; some irregularity within a contained linear whole.

Above we see the front and back of a piece where the strips have all been cut straight but at varying widths.  Dinah commented that she felt the small flower pattern had got lost amongst the weaving and when you consider the back of the piece it’s easy to see that the woven design is more evident where the papers are plain.  That’s not to say it would always be the case but it does reinforce how paper choices affect the outcome.

In this piece she has experimented with 2 heavily patterned papers cut mainly in straight but tapering lengths, some as definite long triangles, while the mottled yellow/brown paper has been cut more organically, with flowing curves.  Again, variable widths and the addition of a cut leaf as a focal point, bring added complexity.

Dinah keeps a log of all her weaving and has a book dedicated to the designs and patterns she has made both now and in the past.  It contains her working patterns and paper placement planning as well as samples.  So I thought it worth showing her initial idea and then it scaled and modified, ready to start construction.

In this piece she chose a Japanese washi paper with a distinct design which she has placed as her focal interest.  Picking up on the white and orange of this key paper she has used a full white sheet as her base with orange strips framing the central motif.  Being on the diagonal also adds to the attraction.

Hopefully over the next few weeks we’ll get a ‘part 2’ to this post and see where she takes it next.

**Webmaster note: To check out upcoming on-line courses being run by Helen click here. I’ve personally done her Flexible Book Structures course which was fun and I learned a lot of new ways to manipulate paper.

About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in Activities: Other, Member Activities, Paper, Techniques and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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