A belated Happy New Year, 2019 – Year of the Pig!
After a late start I have finished my 2019 Year of the Pig Lunar Calendar wall hanging. I tried a different type of stencil paper, called Wax-O stencil, but it didn’t hold up so well. It is a very heavy waxed paper, a dream to cut, but did not hold up to the wet rice paste resist. Consequently, I only made 4 of these, 3 of which are for sale here in my online shop.
2019 is off to a good start for me. I’ll be teaching a 3-day beginning katazome class during the last weekend in June at Grand Marais Art Colony on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Please watch my blog for further updates. Better yet, add your email address into the form at right and you will receive blog updates through email.
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.
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.