Explore the traditional Japanese art of shifu, a spun and woven paper textile, both a quiet and meditative art.
Why make shifu?
Shifu provides a crossover between textile, paper and book. Traditionally shifu was a warm and cheap cloth to layer in a land without wool. Farmers who made paper as a winter crop had it ready to make up into thread for weaving. Because of the labor intensive steps of this process shifu became a textile craft that soon elevated to an art form.
You will learn all aspects of the process, from paper to finished small weavings. Beginning with a large sheet of lokta or kozo paper the process moves through preparing and spinning paper into thread or yarn, wet or dry for comparison, to ultimately weaving the threads on a simple loom that each student creates from repurposed materials. We will explore a variety of ways to use shifu as a modern textile and book arts material. During free moments, a bouquet of simple book structures will be taught, one of which can showcase each student’s workshop samples and thoughts. Students may bring a spinning wheel with light tensioning or a drop spindle. — Long Ridge Farm, Westmoreland, New Hampshire