Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Making String

Years ago, while living in Papua New Guinea, I learned to make string from plant fibres by rolling them on my thigh. It was not a skill I continued to practise, and I have long forgotten the details of the technique.

Last night I learned to make string again. It was the monthly WAFTA (West Australian Fibre and Textile Association) meeting and the guest speaker was the multi-talented Lynne Marshall who is a ceramicist, doll-maker, book-maker, basket-maker and dyer. She uses mostly natural fibres for her baskets. Some of the most interesting ones were those made from sea grass and other fibre collected on our local beaches of Coogee and Woodman Point.

After supper Lynne offered a hands - on mini workshop on making string. She had a collection of fibres for us to use. I chose some dyed raffia and a whiskery commercial yarn. This is the result.

So I wouldn't forget the technique I decided to make more string today. I took some torn strips of a heavy silk that I had dyed years ago to my friendship group meeting and produced this (plus quite a bit more that is not in the picture)

I need to work on my tension, and 2 cm strips of a heavy silk make for a VERY thick string, but I am very happy to add this technique to my repertoire. Thanks, Lynne and WAFTA.

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