Katagami workshop at Middlesex University London, May 2017

2018-05-10T08:56:58Z (GMT) by Zoe Hendon
Images of a three-day workshop run at Middlesex University by Katagami Project Researcher Sarah Desmarais for ten students, at both undergraduate and masters level, from a range of disciplines including jewellery and fine art. The content of the workshop was generated from Sarah’s practice-based research with the traditional materials of Japanese textile printing and dyeing. The sessions aimed to provoke reflection on the role of traditional materials on the development of a distinctively Japanese design aesthetic; on drawing as a key way in which designs are assimilated, translated and transformed by artists; on the way particular design idioms circulate between cultures; and on the value of heritage textiles as a resource for artists and designers. On day 1, students were presented with a selection of MoDA’s katagami and given some historical background to the stencils and to MoDA’s collections. They then explored the katagami in detail through drawing from them, before starting to design and cut their own stencils. On day 2, the students made rice paste using traditional materials and methods, and used it to start printing with their own stencils. On day 3, students were shown how to dye with natural indigo, and dyed the samples they had previously printed. A questionnaire was used to record participants’ experience of the workshop, and demonstrated that manual and experiential engagement with the processes of printing with stencils and rice paste had produced new forms of understanding, a sense of connection with traditional makers, and inspiration for further work.