Messy But Fun!

It’s been awhile since I last posted.  Time just flows so quickly and months pass before I realize I haven’t shown anything new!  This is my  latest passion, Japanese textile techniques I have been learning in preparation for a trip to Japan in the fall to experience the real deal.

I’ve become fascinated by katazome,  Japanese stencil cutting into mulberry paper.  This technique has been used to create textiles for kimonos for hundreds of years.  Here is a stencil I cut from the mulberry paper using my Year of the Monkey design.

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Next I used a rice resist paste that is made from using rice flower and rice bran.  The paste will block the dye from penetrating the fabric and the image of the monkey will soak up of the dye. I used a kitchen spatula to apply the paste.

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Next I mixed up a batch of indigo dye and turned my backyard into a primitive laboratory. 
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I dipped my monkey into the dye and this the results.  The “white” areas have a beautiful texture where the paste didn’t resist the dye.
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Happy with the results of the monkey, I am moving forward to stencil the whole suite of Chinese Zodiac animals.  Here is the first batch where I already carved the stencils and pasted and dyed.  Seven down with five to go!

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