Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts (Fureaikan)
|My project... a set of coasters|
Kyoto is a city that is rich in textile heritage. It was the capital and seat of the Imperial Court for more than 1000 years. Members of the Court became patrons of the arts, and a strong industry in handcrafts resulted. Even today, Kyoto holds on to its heritage of traditional crafts.
On Sunday, September 13th, I visited the Museum of Traditional Crafts (Fureaikan). The museum hosts exhibits that demonstrate the steps of various textile and other crafts. There were several artisans demonstrating techniques.
Katagami is a Stencil technique where the images to be dyed onto fabric are cut into a heavy handmade paper called washi. Made from the inner bark of mulberry trees, the layers of washi paper were treated with persimmon tannin and smoked to make them waterproof. If the designs to be cut were extremely fine, strands of silk would be laid between the sheets of paper used to build the stencil, to stabilize it.
|A variety of paints|
Each element (leaves, petals, etc.) of the image would have its own stencil cut, and thus registration (lining up) becomes imperative.
|Blotting excess paint from the brush|
|Don painting butterflies|
|My first stencil with colored dots|
My first attempt at katagami was great fun. I know I have a long way to go, but I understand the basic process. It was a pleasure to take this workshop from the two Japanese women at the museum. They spoke no English, but there tends to be a universal language that can easily be understood when it comes to textile arts.
|One of my finished pieces|
|An example of proper shading (this is not mine...)|
|Samples of finished pieces|
In addition to the wonder displays at the museum, there is an excellent library of books and videos that you can browse through. Most are in Japanese, but again, the pictures tell the story. And of course, there is an amazing gift shop.
Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts (Fureaikan)Address: 9-1 Okazakiseishojicho, Sakyo-ku | B1F Miyakomesse, Kyoto 606-8343, Kyoto Prefecture
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