A Superb Katazome Fragment: Boldly Exuberant Graphics
ca. mid nineteenth century
22" x 13 1/4", 56 cm x 33.5 cm
This length of katazome or stencil resist dyed cloth is really fantastic. Really fantastic.
The sheer horsepower that fuels its graphics is ridiculously high: the boldly rendered, tumbling blocks (perhaps masu or grain measures) rendered in blue and black, the extremely stylized paulownia blooms that flutter along the length of the cloth, and the highly abstracted plum blossoms that are tipped this way and that add up to a staggeringly good design and a very fine length of old katazome.
The hand spun, hand loomed cotton has some holes and a few stains, which are attempted to be illustrated in the accompanying photographs: please look carefully.
Even with this condition problem, the sheer force of wild graphics completely overshadows this flaw and leaves us with a really satisfying visual enjoyment, and makes us realize why we love Japanese design as much as we do.