A Katagami Cut from Re-used Paper: Charming Images and Handwriting

$85.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
16" x 11 1/2", 40.5 cm x 29 cm

A katagami is a hand cut stencil that is used as a guide to apply rice paste to the surface of cloth when dyeing in the katazome method. 

Katagami are made of paper that has been saturated with green persimmon tannin or kaki shibu and then smoked for added durability.

This one is unusual in the fact that recycled paper was used to create this stencil: by looking at the accompanying detail photo you can easily see this.

The design on this one is varied and interesting. The background is a repeat of horizontally-oriented zigzag lines which represents the often-seen motif of arrow feathers. Superimposed onto this backdrop is a group of dragonflies and other traditional images which are expertly hand cut into this paper.

Note the preponderance of areas where black dye can still be seen: these richly toned areas on the proper back of this stencil add a beautiful element.

It is both charming and very rare to find--and a small gem.