Paper Weaving Workshop

Ever since I did my 100 x 100 Paper Weavings Project back in 2013, I’ve been thinking about the many ways to weave paper. And this past weekend, I had the opportunity to teach a new workshop at sweet spot in Erie, Colorado. Platypus Papers creates custom wedding stationery and all sorts of outside-of-the-box event props, which are worthy of another blog post – stay tuned! The proprietor, Laney Hall, generously offered her space for this workshop.

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This was a two-day workshop, and we did two main projects each day. Our first project was a sample book. We made four weavings (straight strips, curved strips, one shape woven into another and adding cut-out windows). 

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We bound these four weavings into a book with an accordion fold spine which was attached to the cover with… a woven strip!

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The accordion fold spine allows the book pages to open completely flat, so that the weavings can be viewed in their entirety. 

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Below you see a close-up of one of the completed books.

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Next we each focused on a woven paper wall hanging. Everyone’s work looked so unique due to their paper choices. We each crumpled a sheet of white abaca/cotton handmade paper as our base for the weaving. 

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I love this white-on-white weaving.

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Notice the unique cuts at the top of the weaving, through which the bamboo hanger is threaded.

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The focus of the second day was woven hinges. All of the hinges are variations on the piano hinge binding. First, we cut designs in envelopes. 

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Then we slipped decorative papers into the envelope pockets. Below you see the hinge, which in this case was used to form a mini folding screen. This, by the way, is a project in my book Playing With Paper

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And the hinge has a variation… you can assemble the envelopes to form a lantern as well.

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Here’s another version of the envelope folding screen. This one features small cut-outs (the white shapes at the top) and collage.IMG_9233

Here’s a more traditional piano hinge binding, with bamboo skewers connecting envelope pages filled with mini-collages.

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Our last project combined weaving, cut-out windows and another variation on the piano hinge.

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My students were such troopers, trying out a few techniques I’d never taught before, and helping me make a list of mistakes that can be made in the weaving process. This is particularly important, because I’m thinking of making a tutorial for parts of this workshop. What do you think? Did we make some items you’d be interested in learning how to make? 

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I'm Helen Hiebert!

THE SUNDAY PAPER brings you stories and examples of people doing exciting, innovative, and beautiful things with paper, as well as link to interesting paperfacts from around the globe. Read all about it here!


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