MoDA’s Designated Silver Studio Collection includes four hundred Japanese katagami, traditional resist-printing stencils for textiles. We recognized that these stencils held enormous potential for research that brings together an historical perspective with a practice-based approach. In 2016 we secured funding from Arts Council England for research on this collection. Our focus is on katagami as a source of inspiration for artists and designers, both historically and today.
“Katagami in Practice: Japanese Stencils in the Art School”
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 and Leeds University’s ULITA).
The katagami in MoDA’s Silver Studio collection are among our most popular objects. They hold a fascination for students and creative practitioners because of the intricacy of their cutting and the beauty and stylisation of the motifs depicted.
Our four researcher/practitioners are helping to expand our understanding of these fascinating objects, and offer ways in which students can engage with them more deeply in the future.
What are these katagami and why are they interesting?
What have we found out about the historic background to MoDA's katagami stencils?
Find out more about the project and our four practitioners
Sarah Desmarais uses drawing techniques to get to know the katagami through practical engagement.
Mamiko Markham is uncovering the hidden markings on the katagami stencils in MoDA’s Silver Studio Collection
2017 was an opportunity to see Japanese stencils on show at Leeds University
Alice Humphrey is taking a mathematical approach to analysis of MoDA's katagami stencils
Caroline Collinge has created a magnificent folded paper costume for a filmed dance performance
Middlesex University Television Production students have been filming a documentary following the creation of Waves.
Silver Studio katagami helped to forge international links in 2017
MA Craft students from Middlesex University tried out traditional Japanese printing techniques