Thursday, December 12, 2013

a new paper book

who could imagine one autumn would have
two books about shifu
published and available and perfectly 
complimenting each other?
my teacher, hiroko karuno,
has published her new book
about japanese handmade paper 
and the thread made from paper.
hiroko is a very private woman
whose relationship to japanese handmade paper
is deeply felt, understood; intimate and beautiful.
hiroko gave me permission to write 
about this jewel of a book.
it is a rich how-to book
precise and philosophical
simple yet profound.
here is an example of the precision she insists upon
the standards she sets for herself.
i remember trying hard to spin this intentionally
when i worked with her.
the book includes a wonderful frontispiece
an entire page of koshi-no-kigami-kobo, kadiode-washi.
 your fingers can dance over this amazing paper
perfect for spinning.
i found myself wanting to begin immediately 
working with some of this paper!
this is one of my favorite photographs,
a small group stripping kozo bark.
it brought me back
to sitting on my kitchen floor
stripping milkweed bast from stalks
wet from snow after winter gathering
for my first edition of milkweed paper.
i could hear hiroko's voice
in my head as i read her words.
hiroko came to shifu
from a more traditional weaving background.
so she knows dyeing and weaving thoroughly, and understands paper.
this book will be available soon, she hopes,
from the japanese paper place, sri textiles, the textile museum
in north america. for now it's still in japan, awaiting a january release.
you may find out more here.
hiroko writes: 
strong and beautiful thread comes only from strong and beautiful paper
beauty from necessity lasts forever.


Valerianna said...

Books are really magical, especially when words come alive with the memory of a voice, I think!! Looks like a wonderful book. Hope you are keeping warm, its 8 degrees here, imagine its a bit colder over yonder where you are!

Ms. said...

I confess that I'm astounded by craft this precise and artful. How lovely to know that such a treasure exists.

Velma Bolyard said...

valerie and michelle, ir;s a gem of a book, so much packed into not that many pages. of course i wish it was a bigger book, maybe susan's big shifu book has me spoiled!

ronnie said...

I must say I feel myself being magically transported to unknown lands when I read words like shifu and kozo......

therese said...

ohmygsh.....the pages you've shown have such delicacy....sigh....
thank you for sharing until it is available to us.
bedtime seeing kami-ito in my dreams.

Anonymous said...

so Japanese, so beautiful - "beauty from necessity lasts forever" I will wait impatiently knowing it will be worthwhile.

Velma Bolyard said...

ronnie, me too!
therese, kami-ito dreams: lovely!
jean, yes. it certainly is.

jude said...

the book seems almost as beautiful as your love of books

Velma Bolyard said...

ah, jude, you've caught me out. (and it is beautiful!)

saskia said...

love the Japanese characters, maybe in another life I could learn how to read them; the book and your description of it are beautiful

Velma Bolyard said...

thanks, saskia, i, too wish i could read or even understand a little japanese. i fear even total immersion would leave me unable to communicate. maybe only the language of fiber would connect me to others?

ArtPropelled said...

I found this beautiful image on Tumblr and I'm trying to remember whether you mentioned the book or not. It's such a beautiful image, I sat looking at it for a while.

Velma Bolyard said...

robyn, YES! that's my dear friend aimee's book!

ArtPropelled said...

I thought it must be.

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