Friday, February 15, 2013

A Love Affair- Not Quite Yet

Detail of Joomchi lace
I love learning about other cultures and like my travels, ignorance often provides incredible discoveries. I think if I had really read through the directions with the mind of determining just how much time I would spend passing a wet ball of paper between my hands and squeezing, I might just have run the other way. Creating joomchi is labor intensive. I do not like my first piece (third photo). I did learn a lot. With my second attempt, I made joomchi lace (two layers of mulberry paper-yellow for the base and purple on top). Now this I like, but when I tell you that it took more than five hours to create, do you think I am crazy? This could also be the reason that this traditional way of making paper is a dying art in Korea. Who has the time?  I wish I could hand it to you so you could hold the piece up to the light and see all the tiny holes. It's quite beautiful.

Hanji, Korean mulberry paper, is amazingly strong and the joomchi process makes it even stronger. "It's like life," says joomchi artist Jiyong Chung, "Through hardships we become stronger, as the paper does. In the process of breaking down and forming new bonds, the paper becomes stronger."  I definitely think that my hands and forearms are going it get stronger. Tomorrow may prove to be a difficult pottery day. I hope not. I can't say that I have a love affair with joomchi, but I'm not done yet. I want to try drawing on the paper, dyeing the paper, and stitching on the paper using the joomchi process.

So I'm connecting once again with Nina-Marie and her Off the Wall Fridays. She considers me a mixed media artist and I don't think I can disagree. There are just too many wonderful things to play with and explore. When you see a butterfly at rest, perched on a flower, spreading its wings, it is said to be "basking," pausing to gather energy for future movement. For me, trying something new that has nothing to do with my chosen media, quilting, helps me restore my energy. It makes me itchy to get back to it. How do you bask in your life?

8 comments:

  1. Never heard of Joomchi, but I can see that is something to be valued. I did some paper dyeing using Rit Liquid Dye and the low emersion dyeing process. It turned out pretty good. Not as labor intensive as your process though.

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  2. These are amazing! There are so many of these great arts that are dying because we aren't willing to spend the time on them. I hope you keep up the fabulous work!

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    1. Lisa, Thanks for your kind words. Hugs, Karen

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  3. I'm lovin' this ! Now if I had time I'd have to jump on board. Great results - and the lace piece is really awesome!

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  4. Working with your hands, feeling the texture, the tactile pleasure of it...perhaps these are some of the reasons why...? The lace is lovely.

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    1. I tried to look at it as meditation, but certainly the tactile nature of it was also appealing. Thanks! Karen

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