Pinks and blues

Last week the Crab Apple blossoms burst open all around our neighborhood, including the front yard. They come in shades of white to pink to fuschia. It’s the most beautiful time of spring. This year, everything seems to be blooming simultaneously — tulips,  crab apples, lilacs. Even the peony buds are starting to emerge!

crab apple blossoms
shore blossoms

Meanwhile, in the basement, I tried an experiment with some 12 oz. cotton duck (canvas) that I had on hand. I pre-washed it, sized it with soy, pasted it with my minnow pattern, and dyed it with indigo pigment using the large “jizomebake,” or ground-dyeing-brush, which I normally use just for the soybean milk sizing. Here you see the pigment mixed with soybean milk, the brush in water, and the mortar and pestle that holds my indigo pigment. When I need indigo, I add a bit of water to the dish, measure out a little of the liquid and mix it with the soybean milk in a different bowl for dyeing. That way none of the pigment is wasted. It just dries in the bowl.

pigment mixed with soymilk, pigment in mortar and pestle, jizomebake brush

I mixed a dark indigo – applying 3 coats to ensure even coverage. I plan to sew this into a cover for a rolling cart that I will bring to art fairs this summer. I’ll be participating in Art at St. Kate’s on July 11th, and Loring Park Art Festival on August 7 and 8.

minnow pattern with rice paste (yellow areas) and indigo pigment

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.

4 thoughts on “Pinks and blues”

  1. Hi Tulsa – the gold is actually the rice paste, which hasn’t been washed off yet!

  2. now it hangs upstairs to cure… Susan, when I first learned katazome, there was a woman in class who had woven a beautiful natural wool shawl. She pasted a wonderful, simple, large motif on it – It looked like a spool of wool with sticks going through it — and then she dipped it in Indigo. The result was beautiful!

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