Stencil Re-design

I received John Marshall's wonderful new DVD, Journeys in Katazome, in the mail last week. It's the first in a series of DVDs teaching the katazome process, starting with stencil design, cutting and preparation. A richly illustrated interactive PDF document describes the process in detail from start to finish. The DVD also includes high-quality demonstration videos in which John demonstrates and talks about various steps. I've started to re-design my Minnow stencil after viewing the videos on stencil design. While I like my original minnow design, it is a challenging stencil to paste, and feels a bit unstable, perhaps because of the large open areas. I'll try to create another more useful variation on the same theme as a 4-way repeat, sharing the process here from start to finish. I expect I'll need to do 4-6 iterations before I'm satisfied with it. In the first sketch below, I've played with some of the shapes, experimenting with scale and rotation. I can see now that 4 minnows do not excite me that much. In the next sketch I'll try 3 and/or 5.

[caption id="attachment_1433" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="first sketch"]first sketch[/caption]