Last Saturday I had a lovely day out at the Middle Essex Guild, at a silk paper making workshop run by Claire Sylvester.
We started off with decorating Christmas baubles with silk - quick and easy, we all made at least two - some made several. (I've only kept one of mine - a friend has the other). It was done using silk throwsters waste and a cellulose paste - we arranged a small square of fibres, painted the paste onto the bauble and then put it all together - then there was a certain amount of fiddling 'til it looked right (or otherwise).
Next we made sheets of paper. We used a different method for this, it was a method I've not used before so I was quite excited to try this. It was also a lot quicker and easier than I expected (I made two sheets). First we laid out a layer of gummy silk fibres on a sheet of baking parchment, then we laid another layer on top in the other direction (like wool for felt making). Next we damped it with a water spray and then sprayed dyes onto it. To finish we made a sandwich of it with another sheet of baking parchment and ironed it - the moisture and heat work with the seracin (gum) in the silk to glue it into a sheet of paper. Great fun.
The final part of the workshop was to make a bowl, this used the same method as the bauble except using more of the silk. I decided not to make a bowl and to make another sheet of paper/fabric instead. But there were many lovely bowls made.
I was also rather chuffed to find an old paper making kit on the sales table, which I brought home and am looking forward to trying when I feel more like a human being again!