One of the pasted folkhouse pieces made it into the kakishibu (persimmon tannin) just to see what would happen. Kakishibu and paste can be tricky, because the paste softens when it gets wet and with kakishibu the idea is to wet the piece and let it dry in the sun multiple times. Each dunking and sunning leads to a darker rust-color, and only the side facing the sun takes on color.
Here’s with paste on, after being in the sun:
Final result (though it needs a good pressing, sorry about that):
In some places, the paste cracked and left little lines of rust, giving it a bit of a batik crackle. I really like the darkness of the color and the imperfections of the kakishibu in relation to the stencil design.
I am looking forward to combining kakishibu with indigo and working with layers of dye and paste. Maybe offsetting the stencil? Maybe the use of different stencils directly over each other? There’s something to this process–and to katazome as a surface design technique–that I want to explore more fully. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to try it.
We also tried kumihimo (gathered threads)–a form of Japanese braiding.
The threads and braid are tied to heavy bobbins to keep an even tension as you work.
Julie hard at work, making a beautiful 8 strand braid using the cotton thread we’d wrapped our shibori work in before dyeing.
My finished braid, using linen dyed with kakishibu. Any ideas what to do with it?
The day was nice and sunny, and so seemed like a great day to play around with persimmon juice. The astringent juice can be applied directly to cloth or paper and turns a golden brown once it’s been cured in the sun. (If you google “kakishibu” you’ll get lots of examples.)
I started by plucking the fruit from the persimmon tree that grows down the road. (I find that pretty amazing.)
Then we grated the persimmon, and strained the juice through an open weave cloth. The frothy juice is a bright light green.
Using paintbrushes, we applied the juice to paper and put the sheets out to dry and cure in the sun. But the clouds came out and threatened rain, so I have no idea how my paper will turn out!
There is a prepared mix you can buy, so we used that to color some cloth for projects Bryan is working on. Here’s some fabric and thread drying in the sun.
I’m loving the light orange color achieved with multiple applications. The juice can be applied under or over indigo, so some color variations are possible. I really appreciate the non-toxic, readily available materials Bryan is using–makes me wonder what resources Minnesota has to offer. Any ideas?