Friday, February 17, 2012


Another stencil I cut.  This one is a bit smaller and is a stand alone motif of a crane used as a Kamon.

In Japan, Kamon were used in a similar manner as coats of arms.  A person, family, organization or company would use it as their insignia or symbol.

They're less ornate than most coats of arms and don't have so many elements combined into them.  They typically are cohesive and streamlined.  It doesn't combine different branches of the family.  To me, it is more of a stand alone emblem rather than an ancestor reference.  So I find Kamon attractive for batik work.  Some are more bold than others and a lot of them are stylized.

Another sample done on a hankie to see how the design works.  I've got quite a selection of silk hankies that I've done for practice.  I'm taking a class at the Textile Center next month that uses scraps of fabric bonded to card stock and folded into origami boxes.  I figure these would work well for that.  Then I just need to find someone to give little boxes to.  Hmm.  I took a class on making fabric Kazashi flowers earlier this month.  The hankie wouldn't work as well for that since they need more pieces of fabric.  Or at least larger pieces than I can get to fold.  My fingers aren't as agile as they would need to be for that.


  1. Beautiful, Kim! I've been making stencils, too... tried one out, but I have about 4 more I want to test... I'm hoping they work 'cause I cut them from card stock. They were easy to cut, but I'm concerned about how they will hold up if I apply the wax directly through the stencil rather than trace the design through the openings first... we'll see!

  2. I think they should work. They won't be able to be washed. But since soy wax is more like shortening than water, it shouldn't cause it to break down and get soggy.
    It might work to spray paint or spray lacquer them so the wax doesn't soak in and so they last longer. But the added cost of that would offset the cost of acetate or yupo instead.
    Traditional Japanese stencils (Katagami) are layers of mulberry paper coated with lacquer and they can last for many years when used with care. if you aren't familiar with Katagami and Katazome you should look into it. Search on John Marshall and Kit Eastman.