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Make graceful and lasting change


Cindy Tonkin - October 18, 2015

Sydney BAG met yesterday (we meet every month).

Avril had been to visit a friend in Bermagui, and brought us back the idea of Momigami. It is the japanese word for kneaded paper.

You can buy momigami paper from art stores, but it seems you can use momigami techniques on old book pages and it changes the texture and consistency of the page, rendering paper more like fabric.

Ever since I’ve been twisting, crumpling and generally assaulting pages of old books to see what happens to them. I put a few atlas pages and a some from a Petit Robert French Dictionary through the 17 minute rinse cycle in my washing machine, to see whether that would twist and transform it faster.

then i put them through the dryer (and put some dry ones in the dryer too). wetting / rinsing made the paper wet, and broke up the map pages – they look cool, but not as nice as the ones i kneaded. just running pages through the dryer did nothing at all.

How to make momigami

Here are my notes from what I found online:

  • Fold the four corners into the center
  • crumple the treated dry sheets gently into a loose ball
  • then pack into a tighter ball
  • squeezeand wrinkle
  • Unfold the sheet, rewrap, wrinkle and crumple
  • After three to four minutes open up the sheet, grasp at the near corner and rub between the palms of the hand, paper against paper.
  • Over and over

A good activity while watching TV, talking with friends or waiting on buses and in waiting rooms I think. More here. 

This description of momigami includes oil. check out how she has weathered a printed image. if you treat the paper after momigami-ing it, then you’ll get a resist effect where the oil is (or isn’t).

Caren florance says it involves tapioca starch and gives a recipe but doesn’t mention oil. And here’s a great resource for all kinds of glues you can make (doesn’t include tapioca, but does include several kinds of flour pastes).

Tapioca starch glue recipe

If found this recipe for tapioca starch glue made in the microwave. The original link has disappeared, so here’s what i remember:

  • use a teaspoon of tapioca starch (arrowroot) in 100mls of water
  • Stir
  • Heat for 20 seconds in the microwave, stir again.
  • Continue to heat for 20 seconds and stir until the paste changes to white.
  • You can add a tiny bit of tea tree oil or dettol to stop insects eating it.

I took some pix, but it would seem the difference between the washed and kneaded paper is only in how it feels to the touch, not in the look. going to try laminating/collaging them now to see what happens.

Thanks avril for going to bermagui to do momigam!

Some samples

These are Pre-treated Petit Robert pages

And post treatment
Post-treated atlas page
Pre-treated atlas page

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