Thursday, March 17, 2011

More with Silk Paper

Now that I had the various techniques down and had acquired more silk fibers, I started dying my own silk and working with the different TYPES of silk and making more art. Here's a sampling:

Here is a piece of silk paper that I made into a vase. This method requires the paper being made flat, heavily stitched in a sandwich of Vilene or Solvy. I used various shades of color, copper leaf, and copper thread. I sewed it to a round piece of copper for the bottom, added some wrinkles and folds for interest and stitched copper oak leaves around the top. It stands about 12" high and 4" in diameter.

Close-up detail of the top of the vase/vessel

Here's another vessel of the same material. The vase is considerably thinner in diameter and stands straight up (for the most part). I cut out copper mesh leaves and stitched them on the side and put copper beads on the top and bottom.

Close-up detail of the top half

Here's another take on the formed vase method, only in blue with silver metallic stitching and beads and gorgeous iridescent blue-green leaf beads on the top. This time I used Throwster's Waste silk, which is short-fibred and curly.

The following is a multicolored piece of silk paper made from mawata caps. I made it into a silk-lined clutch by fusing Pellon heavyweight stabilizer in the middle of a sandwich of silk. I'm going to embellish it more and add a clasp of some kind.

The following art is silk paper molded into or over an item, such as a bowl, a vase, and silicone candy molds.

First is a purple/maroon thick piece of tussah silk molded over a regular day-to-day cereal bowl. I took it off the mold before it was completely dry, which resulted in the way it stands crooked. Learned a good lesson there. I finished it off by stitching on shell beads. It was incredibly easy to hand-sew through this thick piece of silk paper (about 1/4" thick at the top).

Next I molded multi-colored dyed mulberry silk (which is considerably more expensive than tussah) over a wide-mouth flower vase. This time I made it thinner and waited longer for it to completely dry. When it was dry I spritzed some pearly powder contained in an alcohol ink to give it this cool iridescence. This is gorgeous in person...the pictures don't do it justice. The first two pics are views from one side, then the other; then a view from above. I still have to embellish it...maybe I won't...we'll see.

Here we have silk mawata caps dyed in various shades of green and molded in a two-piece (a top and a bottom to create the veins) silicone candy mold of a leaf: an aspen leaf and a separate maple leaf. The maple leaf is as big as my hand. I make one every two days until I have enough to put on a piece of artwork. The ideas are just swirling around in my brain -- silk paper is incredible!


  1. OMG!! First off your work is BE-U-ti-FUL!! I love the organic quality

  2. Kimberly, thanks for coming by my blog...I decided to check YOU out too! Beautiful what you are doing here. I read your profile and it looks like you are taking to this fiber world like a duck to water! Welcome!
    So sorry about the Lyme's but I am glad you are enjoying this new adventure. Keep up the great work.

  3. Wow, these are so pretty. I love the second one the best! This is cool, I never knew about using silk paper to make vases!