This is my first St. Brigid’s Day as a Christian and I’m in Ireland so I couldn’t let the day pass without making a St. Brigid’s cross. People usually make these out of freshly cut field reeds but I, always having to be different :p, made my first cross at a class today out of something else. I was so excited at the prospect, and the class was so chaotic, that I didn’t really catch what kind of reeds these were. What I do know is that the demonstrator cut them herself at the end of last summer and she had to wear chest-high waders to get them. Good woman! She might have said ‘bulrushes’ but don’t quote me on that. She told us that they can last for hundreds of years. People used to use them to make household items, and she still uses them to make things that she sells for a living.
I’ve been working on my second piece for the Mayo Artists’ Show (the first one being the magpie). Originally I was going to do some origami but the paper weaving bug hasn’t finished with me yet. I’ve been working on a couple of ideas. The first one is a continuation of the paper weaving I started with in July. Here are some photos of the work in progress.
A wonderfully kind friend from Japan recently sent me some beautiful washi paper. I wanted to use this to make the snail pattern. However, I found that, as I’ve found before, less is more. When I wove two patterned pieces together the result was a mess (even without the camera shake):
Even before it’s woven, the washi looks fantastic:
Here’s the second idea I’ve started working on:
The thicker paper was harder to weave but I managed it eventually. The up-side is that the thicker paper means that the pieces stay locked into this knot shape without glue. The one I made with thinner paper falls apart quite easily.
I was hoping to move on from paper soon but I made the mistake of borrowing a book from the library called “The Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques”. (It’s a good overview and great for inspiration but it’s not what I would call encyclopaedic.) One of the pictures in the section about paper-weaving looked intriguing so I thought I’d have a go (see photo). All you need is scissors, glue and two sheets of paper of the same size but different colours. You then cut one sheet of paper into horizontal strips and one into vertical strips. You can make the strips as wiggly as you like. I found it helpful to draw the cut-lines on first. My sheets of paper were quite thin so I was able to see the cut-lines on the first sheet when I put the second sheet on top. In this way I was able to make the lines on the two sheets match up somewhat. However, I don’t think this is essential to making an interesting design.
I felt that I could have achieved the same effect by drawing the lines on one sheet of paper to create a wiggly grid and then painting alternate squares in different colours. This is the kind of thing people do when they are doodling. I guess one could make more interesting effects by using patterned paper but I felt that there must be a more sophisticated way to use this technique. I googled for images on paper-weaving and found this amazing blog. Wow! Oh dear, oh dear, I can feel another paper-crafting binge coming on. I must resist. 😀