Our Katagami Florals series reproduces two fine examples of “katagami” stencil artwork – a stencil and a painting created using one. Katagami dates back over 1,000 years to ancient Japan, but the works showcased on our covers come from the late 19th or early 20th century.
Katagami works are created using a method called “katazome.” This technique begins with grinding the soft inner lining of mulberry bark into a smooth paste, then adding persimmon juice, which acts as an adhesive and also waterproofs the finished stencil paper. The paste is then rolled into thin sheets and dried in preparation for carving and dyeing. The desired design would be placed on top of one of these sheets and its pattern cut out by hand, creating a stencil. Somewhat poignantly, this required destroying the original artwork.
Kuro is inspired by an original stencil while Sakura showcases a painting created by using a stencil. Both are currently a part of the Design Library’s vast collection in New York.
Both new designs are available as midi and mini journals, while Kuro is also offered in the slim format.
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Which colour do you prefer – Sakura (pink) or Kuro (blue)?