Curing, Rinsing, Learning

The soy-sized and dyed goods must cure for a "time." Curing oxidizes the soy, making the bond between the fibers and the soy permanent. According to John Marshall, there are many variables depending upon climate and weather. The work can cure for several days up to several months. I cured my dyed goods for a 3-plus days, hanging above a radiator, before rinsing out the rice paste. The issue with the soy in the dyes is that you don't want it to sour. So warm, dry air is best for curing. If you cure goods for the minimum then rinse paste out, the soy won't wash out -- you just need to be gentle handling the fabric. The soy continues to cure after rinsing the rice paste out. I soaked my work in the bathtub for a while to soften it, then rinsed the rice paste off, then gently squeezed it out and rolled it up in a towel to blot, then hung it to dry over the radiator again. There was not a drop of pigment in my rinse water! This thrills me after many years of working with fiber-reactive dyes and frustrated by the amount of water necessary to rinse out the spent dyes.

Blue Heron © Kit Eastman | natural pigments on linen | katazome

Blue Heron (Detail) © Kit Eastman | natural pigments on linen | katazome

Coneflower Design © Kit Eastman | Natural pigments on linen | Katazome

Coneflower Design (detail) © Kit Eastman | Natural pigments on linen | Katazome

The final image, below, shows the outcome of the rice paste resist problem documented in my previous post.

a pasting problem

Egret Stencil

above, Egret/Heron katazome stencil © Kit Eastman | shibugami paper, hand-cut

Today I finished cutting another new stencil. I just can't get the Heron and Great White Egret out of my system. It's one of the most dramatic birds I see frequently during the spring and summer months here. Here's a photo of a Blue Heron I snapped last summer. The Great White Egret especially likes feeding in Lake Como. The open areas of the stencil allow the rice paste to flow through. The brown paper masks the fabric, so these areas will eventually be dyed with a variety of pigments.

I like to look for inspiration before starting a new design. Green Chair Press recently highlighted a piece by Japanese/French artist Aoyama Hina who works in the medium of paper cutting. Her work is stunning. She uses a small scissors to create these works. I found this image in the set called Sentences on her Flickr Photostream.

above - Paper Cutting by Aoyama Hina

I also find the work of the Cape Dorset Inuit printmakers inspiring. The artists work in stonecut, stencil, litho and etching. This print (image found on Glenbow Museum of Calgary, Alberta Website), is included in the book, Cape Dorset Prints by Leslie Boyd Ryan. The book tells the tale of this amazing printmaking community, which started in 1959.

above: Pot Spirits by Sheouak Petaulassie, 1960, stencil print