Sketches to stencils

I usually start designing a stencil by doing some sketches of my idea. In this piece, I want to combine some pasted background imagery including a moon and some branch and leaf-like forms over the leaf impressions made by the eco-print (see my previous post) Then I’ll add pigments in subtle shades of blue and green, let the piece cure a few days and then rinse out the paste. Over this layer I will paste a single stencil of branches and blackbirds. Here are my initial sketches on newsprint for the final stencil.

dogwood

Next, I work out a cartoon from my sketches, combining the imagery from the sketches. (I probably have no business making a stencil with this much open area (that is, area to be cut away), but I’m curious and committed to see how my idea works out – or not, as the case may be!) I make design adjustments both after tracing the stencil and while I am cutting it. This one will need lots of bridges to give it stability because of all the open areas. The moon is missing because it will be pasted from a separate Yupo stencil.

A light coat of spray adhesive adheres the cartoon to my stencil paper, which has been cut to allow an ample margin on all sides. My image is larger than my stencil paper so will be spread across two pieces of shibugami.

This week I am pasting and dyeing the under-layers, and hope to share a bit of that work later this week.

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Author: Kit

I use the materials and techniques of the Japanese art of katazome (paste resist stencil dyeing) to capture my experience of nature. My work celebrates daily meetings with the wild birds, plants, and lake breezes of my local urban surroundings.

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