Pasting a pattern on washi; stencil surgery

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.

rice paste in meadow rue pattern on kozo
rice paste meadow rue pattern on kozo

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).

stencil front
stencil front
stencil back
stencil back



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.

One thought on “Pasting a pattern on washi; stencil surgery”

  1. Update. The paper I used is over 90% kozo (don’t know what the other fiber is). I called Wet Paint Art in St. Paul (see my Resources section) to confirm this.

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