Hand Cut Stencils
I wanted to try drawing from the pieces I have made above and simplifying the drawings, so that they could be turned into stencils. They could be used with fabric paints or decolourant, which is a medium which takes the colour out of fabric (hand dyed fabric).
I used print outs of my bonded surface work as inspiration to draw from onto the acetate. I then cut the shapes out of the acetate.
I chose to make two stencils to work with. One a close up of a certain area of the face and the other a fuller view. Thus I have the chance to overprint even just a partial part of the face. I can experiment with this.
In order to use my decolourant paste, I needed to dye some fabrics. Having had vintage fabrics as a trademark, I wanted to use them again, but in a new way. So instead of keeping them in their original state, I decided to dye them with various inks….
An illustrated showcase of my development and experiments:
Above: Materials, dyeing and creating stencils. Also seen: The decolourant paste used to bleach the areas.
Examples of my outcomes above. All patterns were inspired by original work through this section of the course, with special attention to facial detail.
These four examples, could be stitched into, cut up at a later date etc. The decolourant along with my stencils have given a result worthy of the fabrics used. They look time ridden, distressed and have character; story. I could play with cropping them on the PC and digitally playing with them during Project 4.
What do I think?
The samples themselves I am happy with. Some did not reveal the decolourant areas as wished, thus I will use them within my Boro experimentation. (See this section for more details.)
I feel they have potential to develop and play with. Boro covers a large area, thus it is hard to really show this technique or style of working off during a short experiment. I had played with this in a previous course, in a different way. Yet I have never merged Boro with Decolourant and Stencils before, thus the trial you will see. As for how the stencils have worked. They are not exact and give a batik style appearance. I like that look, as in this section I had not set out for perfection or the perfect print, but rather another type of background / surface design.
If given more time and a whole unit of this hand cut stencil work, I could have tried using paints and other eyes, to “add” colour rather than take away. However this could be done at a later stage. I feel that I development of this idea will be seen further through my Boro work also, in a subtle form.
As I was working through this section, I looked to Jane McKeating and Elisabeth Tarr for inspiration, as both artists use elements of dyeing and colouring through their work:
Left: Jane McKeating, own image taken at The Knitting and Stitching Show in 2016
Right: Elisabeth Tarr, using decolourant to create the figurative outlines.
Tarr trained as a textile artist, Elizabeth’s work explores memory and story-telling. She aims to unite the darker tones of experience with a delight in the every-day. The work is narrative and inspired by stories: Greek myths, fairy tales, folklore, poetry, life stories and events.
Indigo-dyed fabric is the basis of much of the work: the indigo dye produces many shades of blue, evocative of the tones and moods of the time between the end of the day and the night. Currently Chinese-dyed indigo fabric forms the basis of the pieces, worked on with stitch, appliqué, screen-printing and quilting.
I was particularly interested in McKeating’s work, as it was a screen printing and black printing element, as well as a tactile one. Notice the clear portraits above in the example of her work, overprinted with paisley block printing.
What can I take from McKeating’s work?
- – They play with the body of the fabric. She doesn’t just work with the surface, but when she is finished she then goes on to detangle or distress the material itself, as in the piece above. This conveys deeper thought than just leaving the work as it is. The concept of being happy with work, yet still wanting to push further. That is a thought I need to keep in mind myself. Always question.
- – Printing and overprinting on fabric. More on voile layers?
Out of the two artists, I find Jane McKeating the most interesting. Not that I would want to copy or even like her work, but it interests me. I think that her techniques can be quite deep and scientific, thus a lot can be learned. She is someone I imagine deepening my research on in the future.
I have written more on both artists in my Word document log book.