I’ve invited some friends over for a dye day on Saturday, and it looks like we’ll be playing with katazome (Japanese paste-resist dyeing), shibori, and and an indigo vat. This will be intriguing since I have only very limited experience with any of the three methods. I still need to acquire a few materials for the experiment, do some reading up, and possibly even carve a few stencils. It’s hard for me to tear myself away from the loom, though – I’m now 2/3 done threading and I can practically taste the triumph of finishing all 2800 threads. I can’t wait to finish warping, tie on, and throw the first few shots. But if I want to be prepared for dye day, I need to set it aside and do some katazome work now.
What stencils am I planning to carve? Well, my mascot/logo the Traveling Tiger, of course:
And I’m very fond of this tiger stencil, but it may be too complex to cut in just a day or two:
I have two more books full of katazome stencils (and could of course design my own), but most are either beyond my skills or too complex to cut on short notice. I will spend a little more time going through them later today.
The challenge with katazome is that it prints a negative image. With standard stenciling, the cut-out areas become the colored parts. With katazome, the resist paste is applied through the stencil, so the cut-out areas remain the original color of the fabric. This is neither good nor bad, but you do have to keep it in mind. For example, here is what the tiger would look like using “normal” stenciling methods, with a color gradient in the paint/dye:
And here is how it would work using katazome:
As you can see, the effects are quite different. If I were doing this with katazome I would try it either in a single color (like indigo) or else print on a pre-colored background. I have some ideas…
In other news, the book proposal has been sent to my top-choice publisher, and they should be getting back to me about it sometime in the next few days. So wish me luck there!
Finally, as promised, here is the second installment of “Cats in Compromising Positions”: Tigress, looking wholly undignified in the throes of a nap. Who would have thought that such graceful and elegant creatures could look so silly while sleeping?
On the other hand, I suppose sleeping humans look silly too, but I’m not going to subject you to that – we’re not nearly as adorable as the cats!