Treasures from John’s Collection: Pigments on Metallic Weaves
Dyeing on silk is luxurious enough, but can you imagine dyeing on pure gold, silver, or platinum? Well, take a look at this…
Fukuro-obi – Natural Pigments over Platinum-Leafed Washi
This is a fairly contemporary piece, most likely from the 1970s (mid-Showa Period). It is in excellent condition. The photo can’t even begin to convey the luster of the platinum nor the subtlety of the colors of the pigments used.

Notice how the powdered seashell (as well as the pigments in the clothing) has been applied to allow the metals to continue to express themselves.

Based on the soft, subtle hand of the silk, I would guess that the dyes have been applied with soy milk. However, a more common adhesive in this type of work would be nikawa (). (Nikawa is the same binder used with the shell medium known as gofun (胡粉) and used on high quality doll faces in Japan.)
I’ve decided to include a sample I dyed, just by way of contrast, using natural pigment on 18k gold laminated to hand-made paper and woven with silk. The process is not quite the same as that used above. The images above were all hand painted, and my sample is a rice-paste resist katazome piece.

This type of dyeing is one of the options I offer my students in the more advanced katazome classes in my studio. The classes being offered this summer are listed on my web site, just click on this sentence to view my Calendar of Events.
Detail Showing Use of Pigments
Holy Cow! 18k Gold on Paper with Silk 14" x 12"
Detail of Holy Cow!
copyright 2014, John Marshall
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