Yesterday I had more than enough rice paste resist so decided to paste my new Meadow Rue pattern on two large pieces of 70% kozo (washi) Moriki paper from Wet Paint Art. I have wanted to make folded paper blinds for a room in our house, and this paper is the perfect size. The pasting worked well — I didn’t size or treat the paper with konnyaku (see previous post), but lightly misted it with water to relax/flatten it. This task was good practice pasting a repeat. The paper measures 25″x39,” so I pasted 3 columns with my approx. 9×12 stencil, starting in the middle and working vertically down the length of the paper, and then the column closest to me. Finally, I rotated the paper 180 degrees to paste the far side. The indoor/outdoor carpeting worked well as a firm yet slightly giving surface underneath the work.
I plan to paint the paper with soy based pigments, and look forward to learning how well the paper holds up.
When I was nearly finished pasting, my stencil began to buckle a bit. This became especially noticeable after soaking it to remove the paste, as if the silk netting shrank. I am not sure why this happened since I followed the usual steps in attaching the netting including misting the stencil paper to swell it, aligning the weave appropriately, two coats of paint, air curing, etc. So, I carefully removed the netting and redid the lacquering step (using latex porch floor paint).
I am using katazome tools and materials in a non-traditional way with this piece. I have added paste and and dye layers, approaching it a bit like a painting but more backward and indirect. It will get 3 or possibly 4 more layers before I set it aside. In the beginning I drew out the composition, and had a sense of what stencils I would make and incorporate, but I did not plan the precise order of how various layers would come together. One part planning, two parts seat-of-my-pants, kind of like life.
Here I’ve pasted a new stencil based inspired by Meadow Rue leaves in my garden.
I’ve been working on several wall hangings simultaneously this week. Two make use of stencils I’ve used for pillow designs. I feel they will work better on the wall. I’ve added imagery below each bird portrait to lengthen the format, using stencils representing singular elements — water, grass, trees. Below they’ve been pasted. I under-dyed the base fabrics with two brushed-on washes of osage (on the blue silk) and fustic, (on the off-white silk twill). I used powdered extract dyes made by Earthues.
The house piece combines various stencils and temporary masks – it’s a bit of a problem-solving exercise. Below is stage one. I am using a freezer paper block out for a tree that will ultimately be in the foreground. I also made a stencil from a Tyvek envelope and tried to make it sturdier by “lacquering” it with porch floor paint and nylon tulle, in an adaptation of John Marshall’s method. It didn’t work too well — the netting is coming away from the Tyvek and causes the whole thing to curl a bit, even w/spray on adhesive. There really doesn’t seem to be a good substitute for a shibugami stencil if you are working with katazome techniques and materials, but I wanted to experiment with this less expensive alternative. Tyvek holds up very well in water. It could be a reasonable substitute for a stencil that you don’t intend to use a lot.