Sometimes you end up in a completely different destination from where you intended.
My idea was to further explore freestyle or irregular plaiting. After my first foray into this technique, I saw some lovely examples of it at the recent Eskenazi exhibition. So I went back to my photos and books on Japanese bamboo art to do more research.
But then I ended up down another rabbit hole when looking at the work of Morigami Jin. The Eskenazi exhibition two years ago included some lovely undulating openwork pieces like the one below.
It made me wonder whether I could do something similar with paper yarn. Paper is obviously not as stiff as bamboo, but the yarn I mostly use, from Lankava in Finland, is tightly twisted and has good body.
So I made a small sample, trying to keep the pattern fairly regular.
It turned out slightly wonky, which wasn’t my intention in this case. So I made another sample, with a different paper yarn, using a jam jar as a mould.
However, this was too regular, and I didn’t like this paper yarn as much – it was too loosely twisted.
I decided that the form needed to be really undulating and irregular, so that it would be an obvious design decision rather than a mistake. Cue the next two forms, a bit larger.
They looked fine in white, but as I wandered around the exhibition on Japanese recycling, it struck me that maybe I could dip dye them in indigo. It’s been a couple of years since I last did any indigo dyeing, so I set up a new vat and dyed them. I think the vat was a bit strong – the paper takes up the indigo very well – but you can still see the ombre effect.
I’m now working on a much bigger piece, in the form of a spiralling cone. Watch this space!