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.
strong and beautiful thread comes only from strong and beautiful paper
beauty from necessity lasts forever.