Monday, October 28, 2013

Tahiti Pehrson - Psaligraphist extraordinaire

I don't normally write about any comments I get regarding my blog posts but this week I had an enlightening comment from an Artist called Tahiti Pehrson. I must admit I hadn't heard of him before  until he saw the article I posted on Psaligraphy by Karen Bit Vejle and he commented,

'Beautiful work. I had never heard that word: Psaligraphy. Had no idea I was a Psaligraphist.'

I was intrigued to see what he did so I checked out his website  and found his amazing work. 
"Yes, you certainly are a Psaligraphist Tahiti", although the Dictionary definition for Psaligraphy is, 'the art of cutting silhouettes out of paper' which doesn't quite seem to explain the intricacies of your work in my opinion. 

Tahiti is from Northern California and his recent pieces have explored the interconnectivity between the fragility of paper and physical structures. Many of his pieces can be seen at his exhibitions in the States and the UK as well as as installations in shops, Art Galleries and studios.

For more information about his upcoming exhibitions check out his website. www.tahitipehrson there may be one on near you.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lotus flower lamp ...

Waterlily with the light on behind it
Ever since I visited Korea last year I've wanted to try a new technique of making flowers out of layers of paper. With my busy schedule it didn't happen straight away but finally, nearly 18 months later, I've found the time to experiment and produce something along similar lines.

I first saw these flowers in OM's studio in Seoul where she'd made some exhibition pieces, lamps, cupboards, tables etc that were covered in flowers similar to these and they were amazing. She  really inspired me therefore I needed to try making them myself.  

I've just finished constructing a large metre high, 6 sided lamp and so I thought that this would be the ideal structure for adding some of these sculptured flowers. I wanted to keep the lamp decorations simple and yet stylish, decorated and yet understated and I think I've been able to achieve that.

It's taken me a while to get to where I'm happy with what I can produce but here's a glimpse at some of the lamp and  flowers that I've used to decorate it with. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hanji article .......

You may be interested in reading this article on 'Hanji' by Hanji Natty written as the first in a series of three for the 'Strategic Promotion for Success team' for Etsy.

It's great to see someone else with a passion for making things with Hanji !!

Well done Natalie.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Indian vs Korean Hand made Papers .......

During my recent visit to India I took the opportunity to visit Kagzi handmade paper factory in the district of Sanganer, 16 kms south of  Jaipur in the state of Rahjastan.  It's famous for it's handmade paper industry, textile printing and for Jain temples. Around 10 handmade paper industries are present in Sanganer so I was interested to see the difference between how they made paper in India and the way the Korean 'Hanji' is made.

The process of manually manufacturing handmade paper, in either country, has changed very little over the centuries, despite all the advances in technologies but it's useful to note, that paper making started in Korea somewhere between 200 - 500 AD whereas it was only introduced into India in 1728. Therefore, Korea has by far a much longer history of paper making.

There are generally around five steps in making paper:

1. Separating the  fiber from the rest of raw materials. (e. g. cellulose from wood, cotton, etc.)
2. Beating down the fiber into pulp
3. Adjusting the color, mechanical, chemical, biological, and other properties of the paper by adding special chemical premixes
4. Screening the resulting solution
5. Pressing and drying the paper

I've always noticed that  the Indian handmade papers are courser and much more fibrous than 'Hanji'  therefore I rarely use it as it makes it difficult to employ my methods to mould the paper into a three dimensional art form. Nevertheless I was interested to find out more.

The first thing that I noticed is that this factory used scraps of cotton fabric as the base of their paper instead of the inner bark of the mulberry tree that's used in Korea.The business had actually stopped for lunch when we arrived but we were shown around the factory floor and it seems that the process of softening the base product into a mulch is done in much the same time consuming and messy way, as it is in Korea.

Secondly,  the method of screening  out the water from the fibres through the mesh is done more coursely, producing a lot more fibre on the screens which was then placed in only one direction, whereas 'Hanji' is made using a cross threaded pattern.

Thirdly, in India the papers were then hung in sheets from the ceiling to dry naturally and then smoothed out by putting each sheet through some rollers before being stacked in their colours ready for sale. In Korea Hanji is usually dried on a hot steel drum for a few seconds which automatically produces a a smooth finish to the paper.

During the pulp making process, colors and other waste materials like straw, grass, hemp, silk waste, flower petals are added to lend texture, color and pattern to the handmade paper. The paper is often internally sized with rosin soap and surface-sized with gelatine, and therefore can be slightly acidic (ph 6-6.5). The sizing is necessary for the absorbent cotton to resist the penetration of water-based inks and paints. Indian handmade paper is generally considered to have greater tensile, bursting, tearing and double-fold strength compared to conventional paper.

The Indian papers are crudely made from cotton rag waste but it's tree-free and 100% recycled.

The finished products were quite different from what I'm use to working with but this factory is a large operation with exports going all over the world. Their papers are used for covering commercially made boxes, wrapping papers and handmade recycled paper products. 

It was an interesting exercise and it's given me a better insight into the highly refined paper products that I use in my work and why I use them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

From India with love ....

Luana Rubin, Pam Holland and myself
Well I have finally stopped travelling for a while and I now plan on having more time to devote to myself, my family and to Hanji.

I've been fortunate enough to have spent the last 3 months travelling throughout Europe, on holiday with my husband, then back to Australia to spend time with my three children and their families and on Saturday I returned from a 2 week trip to India with my sister, Pam Holland, and her friend, Luana Rubin.

I have so many fresh ideas for what I'd like to achieve in the next few years that I'm feeling quite excited at what the future holds for myself and my love of Hanji. Before travelling I was wondering how I'd cope being away from my Hanji studio for such a long time and not being able to create something tangible everyday but in heinsight, I think it's done the soul good to redirect my energies and to can come back to what I love best, afresh and renewed.

During my travels I took lots of photographs along the way and I enjoyed capturing the special moments of people I met, places I saw and experiences shared. My thoughts at times were a long way from creating Hanji pieces but always in the back of my mind was the idea of how can I use my experiences to improve my craft.

Hanji isnt like most crafts where you can meet someone in any country with your similar interest.  Travelling with Pam and Luana, who are both into textile arts, made me realise that they can share their love of textiles anywhere they travel in the world and in fact we met up with a lovely lady, Anju, who runs a quilting group in New Delhi.

Currently Hanji's following is limited to those who are either Korean by birth or to those who may have been in contact with the culture through adopting a Korean child or living in the country as an expat for a length of time. 

I really hope this will soon change as it has so much to offer as a craft and as an art form.

It's been a while but I just have to share this ...... Bali paper making

Whilst on a holiday in Bali last week I began to wonder if anyone there did paper making.   After a lot of research I came u...