Bands of red-brown kakishibu painted on washi with visible wet edges

Kakishibu is a tannin made from fermented unripe persimmons. It is traditionally used as a treatment to make washi more waterproof, improve surface durability. It is used functionally to make cushions, clothing and umbrellas, stiff katagami stencils for making stencilled fabrics and katazome-shi stencil dyed papers. One of its many interesting qualities is that washi that that has been treated with kakishibu will continue to alter and darken for many months, so the final appearance is not entirely within my control. The effect is profoundly different on each particular washi. I first learned to work with kakishibu from a workshop with Linda Marshall of Washi Arts.

In Burnish, I explored the effect of many light layers of kakishibu on Moriki Kozo, creating a rich surface reminiscent of leather.

In Interstices, the tannin was selectively brushed onto Kurotani #16 small, to enhance the effect of the layering on the fine, evenly formed Heritage washi.

The Pods were created from Oguni Snowbleached 18g, a gorgeous fine heritage washi, treated first with light layers of kakishibu, then with konnyaku to enhance the structure.

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