I know it has been a VERY long time since I have posted anything…..but that is what happens when you are on the road for 7 weeks!!! I will write about my European adventures in my next blog post, sharing some of the beautiful and inspiring works of art and architecture I saw.
But first I wanted to share the exciting news of the release of my first line of stencils from Stencil Girl. I was approached months ago by Marybeth Shaw founder and owner of Stencil Girl after I whined to her about wishing someone would make a line of border stencils that were just the size of the deep cradle birch panels (1.5 inches deep) that I love to use for my substrates. She responded, “why don’t you design them?” My initial response was that I didn’t have time…..but a few months elapsed and I found myself having the same conversation with Marybeth because I really “needed” stencils I could use for this particular size of borders. Thoughts of stencils had been dancing around in my head and this time when I mentioned it and she asked, I agreed to do it!
Above are some very rudimentary sketches that would form the foundation of the stencils. Marybeth guided me with some very wise words to draw my inspiration from the world around me, from a piece of fabric, from nature or from jewelry and that is exactly what I did. I quickly found one of my favorite bracelets and used that as a template for one of the stencils on the “Renaissance” package.
Now I have to admit that I was a bit challenged when it came time to actually taking the drawing and converting it into a stencil. I knew that my son’s girlfriend, Laura Martinez, who does graphic design and has a decal/ sticker business called Make My Graphic, would easily be able to see the negative and positive spaces. So while I designed and drew the stencils out, Laura put them into a format that would work as a stencil design.
It took a bit of tweaking between myself, Laura and the Stencil Girl products team but in the end we got it all worked out! The first sets of stencils are called Pilgrimage to India, Pilgrimage to Mexico and Pilgrimage to the Renaissance. For the Mexico series, I drew my inspiration from my Talavera tiles that I collected from Delores Hildago, Mexico and from Baja.
Aside from using stencils for the outside edges of the panel boards, I also love using stencils on polymer clay and have been doing that for years. They create a terrific relief on clay. (these are a few samples from awhile ago before I designed my own) I was so excited when the first package of the blue stencil “proofs” arrived!! I couldn’t wait to try them out! Here are a few shots showing how I used them on the edge of my substrate, in this case a house shaped piece that just happens to be 1.5 inches deep! The best way to use my stencils is to cut out each individual border from the sheet, that makes them much easier to use.
There are so many possibilities for using stencils in mixed media work. My mind is already reeling with new ideas for stencils based on my recent trip to Europe and St. Petersburg, Russia. I took lots of photos of art and architectural details that would make great stencils! But more about Europe next time! Ciao!