feeling all right!

i'm feeling all right!
and particularly grateful 
that this came today.
with a review that i wrote 
about hiroko's amazing book Kigami and Kami-ito.
i was really happy
and honestly
a little scared, too,
when HP editor mina takahashi asked me to write this.
but i am so happy it's in print.
and proud to honor hiroko
who gave me a weekend of her precious time
teaching me paper spinning.
in today's mail came a wonderful,
colorful box
of overbeaten abaca scraps from 
helen heibert
who offered two boxes
to two artists who had creative solutions
for what could be done with them.
i'm tickled to try 
with these so much fun colors.
(i've always loved working from the scrap bin) 
and this will be especially fun with such spiffy scraps!
the last day for students was monday,
and already my wonderful t.a. lori
and i have been planning for next year.
in between, though,
we will have a nice summer break.
first thing, 
is to finish my edition
which i hope to write about here,

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.