Mari Horie – Katazome Artist

Mari showing her workAnother studio artist we visited was Mari Horie, a master of Katazome, which is a paste resist stencil dye technique. She was a student of Keisuke Serizawa, one of Japan’s national treasures. In addition, she taught Nancy Craft, our tour guide. Mari’s work is done on paper, linen, silk, and cotton. She uses mineral pigments, synthetic dyes, and indigo dyes. Her designs are either free-form, stencil, or tie-dyed. Her inspirations are Japanese objects and the garden.

Katazome paste dryingTo make the stencils, she applies cut forms onto silk mesh to reinforce the silk. The stencil paste creates the resist and is hand-made from rice husks, sticky rice powder and salt water. The salt water keeps the right consistency and keeps the piece from curling. The paste is applied with a tool called a hera. When the resist is dried, the dye is applied to the design with brushes made from horse, sheep and deer hair. A second coat of dye is applied after the first coat is dry. The dyes are set with soy bean paste. There are only 10 colors that make up her base pigments. When the dye is dry, the resist is removed. This process takes about an hour. Mari does all the steps in the process, and it takes her about 2 months to finish a piece. Above right shows one of her pieces drying with the stencil paste design on it.

Samurai ready to be paintedSamuraiOn the left is a stencil of the samurai design that is ready to paint. On the right is my samurai on linen that I purchased.

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