Thursday, September 18, 2014

Making Stencils for Monoprinting

I use paper stencils extensively when I do my monoprinting.  The stencils allow me to create representational imagery that creates focal points and brings the compositions to life.  I mostly use bird stencils and am constantly on the lookout for new imagery that I can use.  And when I make a stencil for a print, I usually cut at least 10 of the image in different sizes and papers to give me plenty of choices when printing.  I also use repetition of imagery to tie the composition together and make it more dynamic.

In the past I've cut stencils by hand, using scissors and a stanley knife.  Its hard work (though enjoyable) but I'm not very good at accuracy to get realistic details like feathers and toes on my bird stencils.

And so I've invested in a new art toy to help me with my stencils.  Its a 'Scan and Cut' machine, which does exactly that - scans in my image then cuts it out.  Absolutely brilliant!  I can create multiples in different sizes of birds, all cut with beautiful detail.

There's lots of possibilities with my new machine and it certainly makes fabulous stencils that will greatly enhance my monoprints.  I'll post some photos of the stencils in use soon!

The Scan and Cut machine in action.

One of my silhouettes of birds I used as a template.
This is what I scanned into the machine.

After the machine has cut the stencils, I lift
off the paper.  Some of the stencils remain
stuck on the low-tack surface, they
come off easily.
The resulting stencils, cut by the machine,
in different sizes and papers.
The added bonus is the negative shapes left after cutting,
I can use these too for my monoprints,
so nothing is wasted.