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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About Me

Hi, I'm Helen Hiebert!
I'm an artist working primarily in handmade paper; I write how-to books and make films about papermaking and paper arts; and I love learning about new techniques and methods for working with paper! You can learn more about me at http://www.helenhiebertstudio.com

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