Happy Belated New Year 2019 – Year of the Pig

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.

The Colors

Imagining a “garden at dusk” led me to paint several layers of dusky colors in a very light value on the entire surface of the cloth, using soy milk and natural pigments. I would never have used the vintage white damask formal linen tablecloth for dining purposes. My cloth is long enough for two instances of the stencil, which was created from a full sheet of stencil paper. The finished image will be approximately 16” x 30.” Placing my stencil on the cloth before pasting allows me to see where the background colors fall within the stencil design. Before pasting the design (rice paste through the stencil), the stencil and the bamboo stretching sticks–“shinshi,”–soak in water.

Garden Imagery, Stencil Design

My new katazome stencil was inspired by the Robins I wrote about in my last post and by the late spring/early summer garden. I started with sketches on newsprint of plants and a nest, and then chose the shapes I liked best. For the plants, I settled on Hosta from the garden and Wood Anemone, a native wildflower that I discovered growing just down the street in a city park. I worked out the composition by drawing shapes on black paper, cutting them out and arranging them on a white background. I then transferred this design to the back of the stencil paper (shibugami). I found these really great white opaque ink pens called Uniball Signo, which show up very well on the dark brown stencil paper. The nearly-final stencil in the bottom image still has a few narrow bridges that will be cut away during the next step of the process, which is to reinforce the stencil with silk netting, or “sha.”