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 use the materials and techniques of the Japanese art of katazome (paste resist stencil dyeing) to capture my experience of nature. My work celebrates daily meetings with the wild birds, plants, and lake breezes of my local urban surroundings.

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