Thursday’s term this week is new to me: Devil’s Tongue. Sounds exciting, right?
I came across this one just this past spring while beginning planning for our fall season. This October we’re welcoming papermaker Asao Shimura to the Center. Shimura is a papermaker, researcher, and scientist. Originally from Japan, he studied industrial chemistry and water analysis at Tokyo Technical College, and resides in Poking, a remote village in the Philippines. For over thirty years, he has published books about papermaking and related crafts under his imprint Asa Press. His particular realms of interest include shifu making, natural dyes, and kon’nyaku applications.
Kon’nyaku is the Japanese name for this distinctive looking perennial, and the starch it produces. The Human Flower Project describes it as such:
Amorphophallus konjac goes by several unflattering names in English (Devil’s tongue, Voodoo lily). It puts on quite a bloom-spectacle, with a stalk 2-3 feet high and a flower so hideously stinky it can draw a crowd better than Metallica; Voodoo lily fans just happen to be insects.
Devil’s tongue is a tuber plant that offers a wide range of applications from cooking to printmaking to paper finishing. Asao Shimura will join us the weekend of October 6-7 and demonstrate the many uses of this viscous jelly. It can be added to natural dyes and pigments to use in painting and printing with woodblocks on handmade pineapple and kozo paper. Once pieces are completed, they will be boiled in a lime powder solution that renders the paper and dye water resistant and transforms the texture of the final piece.
This is an excellent workshop for those who wish to work with low-impact, green materials, and a rare opportunity to work with a renowned researcher and practitioner of papermaking and related crafts, who only rarely teaches here in the States. Shimura will also join us the night before the workshop, Friday, October 5th, for a short talk about his work with handmade paper.
You can register online here for the workshop. Don’t miss out!
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