Paper Voodoo: Transforming Japanese Paper with Konnyaku





Instructor: Linda Marshall
Skill Level: All Levels
Materials Fee: $25.00
Length of workshop: 1 day

Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019



Workshop description:

Konnyaku is the powdered root of a perennial plant in Japan known by any of several names, including voodoo lily, snake palm, elephant yam, and devil’s tongue. In this workshop we’ll be using konnyaku to strengthen and soften Japanese washi/paper for use as cloth, collage, sculpture, and interesting book forms. We’ll also be exploring the potential to add pattern and texture to papers using various formation tools in conjunction with konnyaku. This is about using traditional techniques for modern artwork. Part 1: The workshop will start off with a brief overview of Japanese paper (what makes it different from Western paper and various types of washi) and many examples of items made using washi + konnyaku for inspiration.  Part 2: Learn how to prepare and use konnyaku to make momigami (kneaded) paper. During the workshop we’ll create an impressive range of treated paper with textures and pattern set by the starch, and learn how to use konnyaku as sizing for various media, and as a light adhesive for collage. Participants will leave with a good range of samples for reference and inspiration. The day will ensure all are comfortable with preparing and applying konnyaku to different papers, and troubleshoot studio issues preparing konnyaku. Part 3: Mid-afternoon we’ll use papers we’ve treated to make a book based on a Hedi Kyle structure. This simple elegant book form employs the unique qualities of momigami crinkled paper. This is a single section sewn into a soft cover with rolled edges.

Materials/equipment to be supplied by students:
cutting knife
cutting board
steel ruler
medium width soft bristle brushes
folding tool 
awl, sponges

rubber gloves
plastic bag for any papers that are damp

Materials/equipment to be provided by instructor:
a wonderful range of Japanese washi to experiment and explore with to create different textures/effects. Kyoseishi, momigami, mingei, unryu, handmade kozo, handmade iron- oxide mitsumata, chiyogami, katazome-shi, shoji paper, and other special and hard-to-source papers.
Konnyaku for use in class and a recipe size container to take home.
tools for creating texture in paper
lots of samples and examples for inspiration