Katagami in practice: Japanese stencils in the art school

Published on (GMT) by Sian Woodward
This project enabled the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture to research its collection of Japanese katagami stencils, bringing it to the attention of national and international scholars, and making a contribution to the research culture of MoDA’s parent institution, Middlesex University. The Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture’s Designated Silver Studio Collection includes four hundred Japanese katagami, traditional resist-printing stencils for textiles. These stencils hold enormous potential for research that brings together an historical perspective with a practice-based approach. Between autumn 2016 and spring 2018 this research project was funded by Arts Council England. The focus was on katagami as a source of inspiration for artists and designers, both historically and today. MoDA’s katagami stencils date from the late ninteenth century. They represent one of the largest and most significant public collections of katagami in Britain (others are at the V&A Museum in London, and Leeds University’s ULITA). Our researcher/practitioners helped to expand our understanding of these fascinating objects, and to offer ways in which students can engage with them more deeply in the future.
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