09 April 2013

The material is the message

Judith Rudoler's paper quilts address the dying art of washi, traditional Japanese mulberry-fibre (kozo) paper. In the past century, the number of makers of washi has fallen from 80,000 to 400.
Before making her "stitched-paper collage", she spends hours handling, preparing, and manipulating the paper. Her process involves dyeing, applying a starch to strengthen the paper and add texture, and then constructing the piece (on her old Bernina) from an idea from a drawing or old photograph.

She writes of "urgent need to ensure that the craft and technique surrounding washi continues on its historic path. In an age when paper is a sorely devalued disposable commodity I believe that artists and craft persons who embrace traditional methods for paper production have the potential to return paper to its status of more than a raw material."

Judith is a member of The Paper Place in Toronto - on their site I also found this little house made from a square of kozo paper, cut up and sewn together -
If you're drawing or painting on kozo, this site shows how different materials will look on different kinds of paper.

No comments: