Variations on a theme


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.


Author: Kit

I’m a St. Paul MN visual artist, working in drawing, printmaking, and textile art.

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