Thursday, September 15, 2011

Handmade paper jewels

Some of what I've been working on recently: handmade paper jewels. This first one is cattail paper made by a friend of mine, augmented by silver leaf and linen thread.

And this pendant below is made from paper I made from a squash vine that I grew in my garden last year. Fiber, sterling silver leaf, and a bit of cotton thread.

It's a good example of how setting something aside for a while and then looking at it later with fresh eyes can give you time to get new perspective. The squash fiber was the first one I made, several months ago actually. This first batch of paper had not turned out very beautiful by most standards-- too fibery and very wobbly and warped and too delicate, it looked, to be honest, like a clump of dead grass. I was frustrated with the whole endeavor, and when I made this piece, my frustration colored my opinion of the result. I set it aside as a failure.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I decided to wear it. I fell in love with it and decided that I should definitely make more pieces using my handmade paper. Alas, I had thrown out what remained of my ill-fated squash fiber paper. But I have a cache of handmade papers I had made years ago, plus some samples my friend Kay had given me of her plant fiber papers. So I have something to play with while I learn about what sorts of Arizona plants will be good papermaking fodder.

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