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.

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.