Silk Paper Workshop

I’ve spent the last few days interstate at a workshop.  Three months ago I was there as a participant in the encaustic art workshop, this time I was the tutor.  Entitled ‘The Book of Silk’ the aim was to create a silk book from raw silk strippings, colour, embellish and bind it.  Quite ambitious for a two day event.

Everyone was very keen and took to the basic paper making technique extremely quickly.  Then came the fun part – making shapes, dyeing, pulling out threads to create cords and so on.

Soon they were working together in teams of two to stretch out silk hankies and caps, wet them down and twist them into long ropes.  Some were so long they were able to knit the lengths and embed them into their paper.

We investigated making silk ‘beads’ and wrapping them with seed beads on gold wire.  We cut, shaped and dyed silk cocoons, pleated paper and manipulated silk carrier rods into a variety of shapes.

We looked at creating silk flowers, like these pictures, and several ladies had a go.  Their dyed and shaped cocoons were really lovely.

Some of the books were bound and completed during the weekend whilst others are still being worked on.  Very easy in the time available to construct pages but as hand stitching, beading, creating individual dimensional shapes and so on can be time consuming many decided to continue working on their pages at home later before assembling their book.

There was only one problem with the weekend – it went far too quickly.  I wish I hadn’t needed to rush back and could have spent a few more days up there.

A huge thank-you to everyone who attended and for welcoming me with open arms.  I had a great time and picked up lots of tips along the way as well.  That’s the beauty of workshops, someone else always takes a technique and gives it their own new, unique twist.  A special thanks to Bob for his Heston Blumenthal chicken dish on Friday night and Vicki for the irresistible chocolate brownies on Sunday.

Some student work is featured below:

Dyed carrier rods on scorched paper base

Coffee dyed silk paper, throwsters waste, silk hankie ‘rope’ and manipulated carrier rods, glazed with Paper Glaze.

Coloured and fully completed small pieces adhered to natural silk paper base

Dyed silk rods embedded into natural silk paper

Coloured and embedded silk paper with cocoon, wire and fabric embellishment

Coffee dyed silk paper with hankie inclusion

Dyed silk carrier rod embedded into paper and hankie fibre


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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3 Responses to Silk Paper Workshop

  1. onlyteresa says:

    Thanks for a great weekend Claire……..I thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot and thanks for your great sense of humour and generosity with your knowledge. My colonial knot pistil stitches aren’t quite so daunting now, in fact I’m almost able to say they’re not too bad !!

    • Claire B says:

      It was lovely to meet you Teresa. Keep stitching and send me a picture when your book is finished. I’m sure we will meet next time I’m up there – hopefully sooner rather than later.

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