Friday, October 26, 2012

Exploring silk painting techniques: Itajime with soy resist

Maple leaf image over itajime pattern
This piece made it into the show at the Blue Heron Gallery! The background was done with a Japanese technique called itajime; for the foreground I used a real maple leaf, a tjanting tool, and soy wax resist. With Itajime, one folds the cloth in various ways and sandwiches it between blocks or clamps before immersing it in the dye. The blocks or clamps resist the dye, creating a pattern.
tjanting tools from Dharma Trading Co
The tjanting tool is a tool for drawing lines of resist onto cloth. The copper bowl holds the melted wax resist, keeping it warm enough to flow out of the narrow spout like ink from a pen. The wax prevents the dye from meeting the cloth, creating effects such as the lines defining the maple leaf in the image above.

You can do some wonderful things with Itajime and with tjanting tools! If you take my class on Nov 11, I will teach you some tricks.

 Check out some of these web sites for what you can do with itajime:

Kaizen Journey
Dye Candy
Dye Smithy

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