Step One: pleat by stitching with thread and pulling up, wrap around a flexible core and wrap with thread to hold, use strips of fabric wrapped around as resists; dye with indigo, remove from core
Step 2: wrap around core with the other side down, wrap with thread to hold, wrap with strips of fabric to act as sectional resists; dye with indigo, remove from core, remove all pleating and tying thread
inspiration: the greenery around me and classic katazome stencils featuring detailed leaves on a dyed background
stencil 1: open leaf; stencil 2: leaf veins. This was my first attempt at designing a 4 way repeat, so let’s just ignore all the places where things don’t quite meet up. The third small stencil is to sign my work. (And if I ever remember to paste it on anything I hope it looks cool.)
in progress: pasting the open leaves. (Yes, that is a 95 year old Japanese shibori artist in the background; she’s making all of us lunch!)
in progress: removing the paste after the first indigo dye series by washing it in the river
in progress: The red paste is the second pasting using the leaf veins stencil.
in progress: removing the paste after the second dye bath
results: two different samples dyed with indigo
inspiration: This book from 1963, featuring wax-dyed textiles of the folk-houses, small towns, work spaces of craftsmen, and daily life in Japan in the early to mid 20th century. If I were a different sort of person, I would hide this book in my luggage and never let it out of my sight again! (Mom, if you are reading this, my birthday/christmas is coming up.) I was particularly inspired by this kimono.
stencil: Folkhouses of Fujino–my representation of daily life in the mountains. I attempted a 4 way repeat, if that means anything to you.
in progress: pasting the fabric. The pasted areas will remain white.
results: The difference between the light and the dark samples is due to how many times it was dipped in indigo.
I am really excited about this technique and the possibilities it offers. I appreciate the effort and intentionality that goes into stencil making, especially the push and pull between planning and execution, and what can’t be predicted or planned. (Or, at least, not by me or not yet). There is a kind of magic in seeing your stencil brought to life once the fabric is dyed. Maybe katazome could offer me room to grow and a set of limitations to explore. I’m thinking on it.