Monday, December 1, 2014

In The Studio - Stencil Texture

I'm in the midst of teaching a six week textures class here in Richmond, Virginia. The other evening, as I was demonstrating the Slip Printing technique (or as others call it - stencil technique), I showed my students that in addition to using a spatula to force slip through a stencil to create a plaster-like surface decoration on dry metal clay, you can also use the stencil to impart a smooth, design pattern on a fresh clay slab. Then, I had an epiphany - right there in class! I took a piece of lace and placed it over the stencil. This way I was able to create a detailed, textured, damask type pattern on the clay.

Here's how you do it:
• Roll out a slab of metal clay to the desired thickness.
• Place a scrapbook sized stencil over the rolled clay and spacers and roll again. Do not reduce the thickness of the spacers. The stencil should be thin enough that it will sink slightly into the clay and leave a shallow relief pattern.
• If you'd like to impart a textured surface to the design, roll the clay as described above, lay down the stencil, then the lace or other texture, THEN re-roll to impress both the stencil pattern and the texture at the same time.
• Experiment with lace, a skeleton leaf, tearaway textures, or other very thin material that is flexible enough to work with the stencil.
• A variation of this technique would be to roll the slab, re-roll with just the stencil, then before removing the stencil, texture the pattern with a mascara or toothbrush, ball burnisher, or other tool.
• To make the pattern completely unique - use a jewelers saw to pierce a design out of 26g brass.

Posted by Lora Hart
Artistic Advisor


Rosie Blowers said...

Awesome ideas Lora! Thanks and I will try that!

Rosie Blowers

KENJI said...

Gonna have to give this a go. Thanks Lora.

Janet Alexander said...

Great idea Lora! I'll have to try it!