Light and dark: completed stencil

I completed carving my new stencil today. I tinkered and tinkered with the design until I was satisfied with the shapes and curves. This is a repeating design along both horizontal and vertical axes, so I had the opportunity to work on registration skills following instructions on John Marshall's new DVD, Journeys in Katazome: Stencils. It's so helpful watch these techniques. You can see several samples from the DVD on YouTube, including segments from designing and carving stencils. Here's the link to John's introduction.

 minnows and mussels design © Kit Eastman

minnows and mussels design © Kit Eastman

Along the way I also came across a lovely little book called Notan: The Dark-Light Principle of Design, by Bothwell and Mayfield. According to the text, Notan is a Japanese word meaning dark-light, or more specifically the interaction of positive and negative space. The book features a wide variety of fine examples, and provides exercises that give practical insight into this principle. I have always been fascinated by the play of positive and negative space in art and design -- this is one reason I am drawn to katazome.