How to Make Silk Fusion Paper Bowls

Make a decorative bowl out of silk fusion, which is paper made from silk.

Materials and Tools:

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2 window screens
silk tops (unspun silk fibers)
silk dyes (instant or heat-set)
water
dish soap
2 wide flat brushes
sumi brush
fabric stiffener
flame-retardant spray
bowls
paper towels
wine bottle or other tall item
plastic wrap
plastic drop cloth
sea sponge
metallic paints
bead needle
thread
beads for embellishing

Steps:

1. Lay out one piece of screen and then begin laying pieces of silk on the screen in one direction (gently pulling short pieces). Layer another in the opposite direction. Cover with second piece of screen.

2. Cover your bowl form with plastic wrap and place upside down on wine bottle or other item to keep the bowl off the table.

3. Wet the fibers on front and back with wide flat brush using dish soap mixed into a bowl of water. Press with palm of hands to saturate both sides. Mop up any excess water with paper towels.

4. Apply dyes in any creative fashion to both front and back of piece. Mop up any excess with paper towels. 

5. Pour fabric stiffener into a small bowl and dilute slightly with water to make it easier to brush on. Use a different flat wide brush and apply to both sides of the piece. Directly press with paper towels on both sides to soak up excess moisture.

6. Spray both sides with flame retardant spray. Gently peel off top screen and set aside.

7. Starting with one corner of the paper, peel off of the screen. Pick up with both hands and place on plastic-covered bowl. Eyeball the paper, if necessary making adjustments so that it is even. Manipulate the sides until the shape is pleasing to you. Allow to dry overnight.

8. Carefully pull bowl from out of the paper bowl. Enjoy as-is, embellish with metallic paints or sew on beads in a decorative fashion.

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