paper mache, silk fiber, western red cedar and copper wire
As a third generation Japanese-American, she also has an interest in incorporating Japanese culture into her work. While bamboo is most typically used for basketry in Japan, without access to a ready supply, Donna began experimenting with washi paper, which is made from the inner bark of a mulberry tree.
Sea Anemone basket
hemp warp, koyori cord, indigo dyed washi paper strips, green Habu paper yarn
She cuts the washi paper into thin, continuous strips and spins it with a spinning wheel or bobbin winder. The spun paper can be woven on a small loom or used to form a basket.
Green and White Spirit Boat
sail - washi paper yarn and cotton yarnphoto by MiMi Nolledo
boat - paper covered willow twigs
Interestingly, Donna told me she has also made a piece with Korean mulberry paper, known as hanji. If you're a longtime reader of this blog, you might recall posts about hanji and Aimee Lee. In fact, she recently attended one of Aimee's workshops - the paper world is small indeed! You can read about the workshop and see photos on Donna's website.
western red cedar - warp, pattern tissue koyori - weft, Northwest sedge - lid, contorted filbert branch - handle
photo by MiMi Nolledo
Just this past year Donna began researching traditional and modern ways to make shifu, Japanese paper yarn used for weaving projects, and koyori, which is handspun paper cord. She enjoys experimenting with many kinds of paper and has even spun old dress pattern paper!
Enjoy this short video Donna made as an introduction to shifu and koyori.