I’ve conquered procrastination (just this once) and have made a 40″ long set of “harite” (Japanese fabric clamps for katazome). Each set I make gets longer. I started with 20″ wide. This set will allow me to stretch fabric up to 36″ wide.
Every Sunday evening I make a little plan in my head a
bout what I want to accomplish during the week with my artwork. Reality often doesn’t exactly match this little plan, so I’m often behind. I stretched and soy sized two lengths of fabric this morning, and made rice paste.
I’m also thinking about color palettes. I made this test of the natural pigments (using the pigments straight out of the jar mixed with soybean milk) on a natural flax color linen/cotton blend. That vermilion really makes my heart beat!
I completed carving my new stencil today. I tinkered and tinkered with the design until I was satisfied with the shapes and curves. This is a repeating design along both horizontal and vertical axes, so I had the opportunity to work on registration skills following instructions on John Marshall’s DVD, Journeys in Katazome: Stencils. It’s so helpful watch these techniques. You can find and see several samples from the DVD on YouTube, including segments from designing and carving stencils.
Along the way I also came across a lovely little book called Notan: The Dark-Light Principle of Design, by Bothwell and Mayfield. According to the text, Notan is a Japanese word meaning dark-light, or more specifically the interaction of positive and negative space. The book features a wide variety of fine examples, and provides exercises that give practical insight into this principle. I have always been fascinated by the play of positive and negative space in art and design — this is one reason I am drawn to katazome.
Tomorrow is Fiber Frenzy, a fund-raising event at the Textile Center of Minnesota, 10am-3pm. Buy handmade textiles and help the non-profit Textile Center.
I have donated two items from my inventory – a Coneflower pillow and minnow runner.