Thursday, 18 August 2011

Stencil Dye / Katazome New Direction

Eri has focused on indigo dying, stencil dying and shibori. I was lucky to have a whole class with her alone on Tuesday to talk and see where she would like to go with her time at the studio. She brought in a beautiful detailed stencil she had cut for homework. Small circular stained glass like motifs that seemed Taisho period influenced. (1920s Japan)
First we lacquered on a silk net to enforce the stencil. This is tricky work. It has taken me years of practice to get it right. The key operating words to success are 'slowly' and 'carefully' and 'very patiently'.

When we got the net fixed on the stencil Eri asked if it was possible to use the stencil with other colors besides indigo. I had secretly been dreading the day this inevitable question would come. It opens up an entire new time consuming world. As we usually use hemp or cotton with indigo to use vegetable dyes entails impregnating the cloth with soybean milk before dying. A protein is needed to bond the color pigment and the metallic salt to the cloth. I know that once the other students see the potential of this technique they will all want to do it. The lid is off now.
To make a rambling blog short, this is what we came up with. Lac dye mordanted with aluminum and steamed to fix. Re pasted with rice paste and double dipped in indigo. There are a lot of possibilities just with this color combination.


  1. That stencil is amazing. Each and every circle is beautiful in its own right and I am in total awe at the skill and patience required to make something so exquisite!

  2. Eri really takes her time cutting stencils. She is a beautician by profession and really has an eye for details. You can see how she really got into it and focused like a kid in her own world. This is the secret to something that charming.

  3. these have a quiet, fine presence.

  4. Those stencils look amazingly fine and detailed, such patience.