Bees, Bears, and Blossoms – Final Result

This past August I pasted the Bees, Bears, and Blossoms design on linen, and dyed it with natural pigments.

Pasting this design on cloth was challenging. Four-way repeats always are, but this stencil is quite big (12”x22”), so aligning the top and bottom edges is tricky. I am really pleased with the results on linen. I completed this work in August of this year, working in the outdoor gazebo. Along with the new design I pasted and dyed two owl pillows and two bear pillows, A couple of these will be in Ripple River Gallery during the holiday season. And one in the shop.

Bees, Bears, and Blossoms – Part 3

Katazome is traditionally done on fabric, but can also be done on paper with good results. The trick is choosing a paper (and pigments) that can be soaked in water for about 30 minutes.

I tried this new stencil as a single image (rather than repeat design) on handmade Japanese kozo (mulberry fiber) paper. Because the paper must be soaked to wash off the rice paste resist, it must be a paper that can withstand that. I had done a few experiments with katazome on kozo in the past, so knew that kozo would be a good choice. I haven’t yet tried watercolor paper, but that is also a possibility. In addition, the pigments used must be able to stand a soaking in a water bath. I mixed my pigments with soybean juice (just as with cloth), and once the work is dry, the colors are locked into the paper because the soybean juice acts as a “protein polymer” when dry. (This is how John Marshall describes it in his book, Salvation Through Soy.

Bees, Bears, and Blossoms – Part 2

I took some time to draw the cartoon and refine it to create a 4-way repeat. Here are the final cartoon before transferring it to the stencil paper, and the final stencil design before cutting away bridges and adding the silk sha. I wanted to try this design on Japanese Kozo as well as fabric. I will post the results next.