2011 Lunar Calendar giveaway: katazome on kozo

I rinsed my 2011 lunar calendar today. Not-hurrying gave the colors a chance to cure. Not hurrying is always a wise approach.
To rinse these, I floated them in  shallow water in the bathtub, front-side down (just 2 at a time). After about an hour, I drained the water, and then gently placed them face-up in the tub. I poured water from a pitcher over the top surface to rinse all the rice paste residue away. I did not touch the paper with anything other than the water. Finally, I placed them face-up on a towel to air-dry. The operative word here is GENTLY.

Here are the results:

Below is a close-up of the bottom portion (a wee bit darker image). The ampersand in July is my way of calling attention to the extra NEW moon that month (formerly I said blue, I meant NEW.)

cucalendar

Layers explained:

  1. Paper: handmade Japanese Hosokawa kozo, from Wet Paint Art in St. Paul. Final size of print: approx. 9×22″
  2. Rice paste for the letters, numbers and moon grid – one stencil.
  3. Light blue for the background (e.g. behind the rabbit). Colors consist of watercolor paints thinned with soy milk, rolled on a gelatin plate and transferred to the paper by placing the paper on top of the plate, and gently rubbing with my hand to ensure contact.
  4. Rice paste for the image of the rabbit.
  5. Three more layers of dark blue.
  6. Some hand painted highlights.
  7. Layer of burnt sienna on rabbit, from a cutaway of the original gelatin plate.
  8. Two gentle mistings of soy milk, drying in between (not sure this was necessary).

To enter the giveaway, please post a comment below, consisting of three words or phrases that best express your intentions for the new year. I will choose one winner at noon CST on Valentine’s Day and add a comment to congratulate the winner. The rest of the prints (9 of them) will be added to my shop over the weekend.

Here are my three for year of the rabbit: take notice, explore playfully, loosen my grip …

Good luck!

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Lunar calendar print, part 2: haste makes waste!

After 2 layers of paste, and 3 layers of color, this morning I floated one of my lunar calendar prints in water to dissolve the rice paste. After swishing it a bit, I could see that the top 2 layers of color were washing away, leaving only the first blue that I applied.

soaking paste off soaking paste off

My hunch is that I washed it out too quickly, and since the first blue was applied about 3 days ago, the soy on that layer had sufficient (just barely?) time to cure. Time is a variable for katazome on fabric — you must allow the soymilk to cure/oxidize for several days at the very least, locking the colors into the fibers. I think this must be true for paper as well.

Here’s the difference between the washed print and one still curing in peace and quiet.

Tonight I will add a final “glaze” of soymilk on the remaining prints, adding a bit more Payne’s gray while I’m at it (this color looks like indigo) and then allow the prints to cure for 3 or 4 days before washing them out. I saved my gelatin plate anticipating I might need it again!

Completed katazome paper

I’m happy with the results of my katazome on paper experiment. I painted 3 coats of soy-based natural pigments using a very dry brush. I let the paper dry between each coat. After several days I let it soak for approx. 10 minutes in my bathtub, one sheet at a time. I drained the water out, and gently sprayed the paper to wash away the last bits of resist. Finally, I let the paper dry in the open air on top of sheets newspaper. Gentle handling is necessary. I plan a trip to the  hardware store next weekend and I should be able to complete this project. I’m following instructions from the book,  Paper Illuminated by Helen Hiebert.