Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The best kind of circular stories

Velma was asking about the slip and slide. It's very hard to see in this book because it's knitted and randomly colored. But it's a great easy binding if you have the patience to knit the spines differently (I often don't have this patience, which is why my stuff looks like potholders and scarves). One folio slides into the other folio's gaping hole in its spine. I think I picked up the title in a book but it could be one of many, as I learned last week. The single-page book that I never learned with a proper name (some would say star, though it's not THAT star book, and Joseph called it a onesie) is called a poncho book by Laurie. Speaking of books, the Focus on Book Arts Conference now is on Facebook, unlike me, so take a look via the link on their homepage. They REALLY want me to drum up more students, so pass the word along if you know of anyone who wants to spend three days handling hanji in more ways than you could imagine at the end of June, not far from Portland.
Today was my first somewhat grounding day in a LONG time, meaning that I got to use my hands doing something other than class prep and typing and swiping screens. I had made an order of itajime for a class that didn't run, so now I have all of these colors to myself, besides the ones I gave away in various classes so that students could see how much weaker dyed and buffered-with-short-fibers washi was in comparison to 100% dak hanji. These are hard to cord with because of the breakage, but still manageable with just the right amount of handling (as in, hardly any! No tugging or yanking). I also sorted through prints from the first two months of this year and decided on which get gifted, recycled, framed, archived, and sent to the samples collection for teaching. I also sketched a new idea for more paper jewelry. TOO fun.

But out of the Boston area was where I got the best lift, despite how much tragedy has shaken the city and beyond: a conservator who attended my lecture in Boston a couple weeks back and ordered my book told me that her colleague, who took my Boston workshop, is already at work making hanji cords to rebind Korean books that he treats at the Harvard-Yenching Library. He had showed me an old brown cord in class and sent pictures of another to ask about 3-ply possibilities, and was one of the very few students I have ever taught who needed no further instruction beyond my demo to successfully make both regular cords and continuous ones. I was thinking this morning about how someone a long time ago made hanji cord in Korea, which was used to bind a book, and this book ended up in Cambridge, landed in the care of a non-Korean American, who took a class from a Korean American, who learned jiseung from a Korean in Korea. It's not a perfect circle but I like it.


  1. I love the knitted creation ... and the coloured thread piccie has me wanting to know more... itajime? dak hanji? sounds like an exotic cocktail!

    1. itajime: the fold and clamp technique to dye, these are papers from paper connection (http://www.paperconnection.com/)

      dak hanji: hanji made from dak (paper mulberry)

      i'll try to expand more once i have more to show!

  2. Anonymous1:44 PM

    the knitted book looks something like the "slot and tab" in Alisa Golden's book. I've been meaning to give it a try since I saw Velma's. Love the colours on the itajime cords. The near perfect is amazing, I love those kind of happenings.

  3. yep, it's the same thing, and quite a promising structure for textile applications in book arts, i love it!


thanks for visiting!