Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What is Paper Silk?!

Paper silk is a mysterious material that first showed up in my life when I saw Carol Boyer this past summer at the Quilting By the Lake workshop I attended. She shared some of it with me, and I took it my studio where it became the perfect material to become the sky in this little silk collage above.

Carol offered to show me how she makes paper silk, so a couple of weeks ago I went to visit her in her studio. Basic materials: silk sliver, GAC 900, acrylic paints and inks, nylon net, and plastic sheeting.

To get started, put some plastic sheeting on your work surface. A length of silk sliver is pulled off the rope, then the fibers are separated and placed on top of some nylon netting. More layers of the fibers are added in a different direction, and other materials can be added between silk fiber layers. I added paper, colored threads, feathers, and fabric scraps.

Carol recommended ending with a layer of silk to kept the "sandwich" together. Color can be added by using colored silk fibers, the inks or paints, and by the other materials used.

Carol's piece, with her signature gorgeous colors

Once the fibers, colors, and additions are complete, another layer of nylon netting is placed on top, then the liquid GAC 900 is spread evenly over the whole piece. Once everything is dry, the netting is peeled off top and bottom. You may like the texture made by the netting; Carol told me she sometimes irons it to smooth it out.

Cris' first piece, with the card I used to spread the GAC 900

And here some of my creations. I'm not sure where I'll use them yet, but they might work with my newly printed fabrics.

Thank you so much, Carol, for teaching me how to make a beautiful material and for the out-of-sight soup you served me for lunch!

Here's Carol. Doesn't she look like fun?!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Really nice and Carol does look like fun!!