Recently I was invited to join a group of artists from various disciplines working with kozo. Needless to say I was thrilled. About a week ago we met to cook the fibres and start cleaning and beating. This sort of work is always more fun in a group, and especially if there are snacks and drinks! We took turns working and so there was plenty of time for socializing. One of the artists wanted to try spinning the cooked but unbeaten fibre, which she was able to do! Amazing! This meant at the end of the session there was a piece of cooked unbeaten fibre which had been pulled apart for her experiment. I rolled it up in my apron and yesterday when I went to make paper (and so needed my apron again) I discovered it again.
What I found was a beautiful organic structure full of holes, and regular readers may already have an idea where this is going…. yes, holes = needlelace. So I sat down with a needle and thread. And produced this
I loved how the needlelace reflected the structure of the fibre, it was an interesting intersection of natural and man-made. I liked it so much I decided to press on. Next I tried a bright contrasting thread.
And then I unpicked it because it just felt all wrong. So I switched to another more organic/neutral colour, a cream and added more. Better. So I just kept on working.
I never thought of working with just the fibres, but I love how this looks. I think a bigger experiment may be in the near future.