Sunday, January 3, 2016

Inked Stencils

My friend could not come over this morning, she has a bit of snow and ice at her house. So since I already had my supplies out, I spent the morning doing more stencils. A practice piece on muslin, with the trilobite stencil, I am getting the hang of it.
I got out my box of hand dyed fabric and found just the right dark blue/gray. Inking the trilobytes onto the blue, looks like real fossils in the slate stone they are found in.
I am getting nice clear crisp images. I made a piece for myself and a piece for my quilting friend who took geology classes with me in college.
I really like ammonites, they are often fossilized in a shiny metallic rock. So I used the metallic copper ink, it went on really well, but needed an extra swipe to get good coverage with the metallic shine.
I had to be careful of which direction I swiped this stencil as it has some loose ends that could get caught on the dauber, but mostly it was OK.
Next I used a cheaper yellow plastic stencil of leaves. My bright yellow hand dyed fabric was just right. I used "Autumn Leaf" ink. The yellow plastic was nice and sturdy, as I swiped the dauber, none of the loose pieces pulled up. I started to do some faded shadows and partial images to fill up the space more and add depth.
I had trouble with the fern stencil. It had lots of loose pieces which kept getting caught on the dauber, making blurry images. I had also washed the dauber, I thought I had dried it enough, but the moisture made the ink bleed. For the larger open spaces I had to keep reapplying the ink, which made a blotchy image too. The stencil also had a good and bad side, the bad side had rough edges that caught at the dauber making it hard to swipe, so pay attention to that when using stencils. But I wanted the ferns mirror images, so I flipped it frequently anyway.
This piece of hand dyed has a dark splotch in the center with two lighter areas around it. It was perfect for the willow leaves. I flipped it for the mirror image and added extra length at each side. Now to find something to put inside the frame. I have several bird stencils and found one the right size to use. I used the small dauber, less than 1/2" round, to do the delicate leaves and the small bird parts, it worked well to get the small bits, but it did not hold much ink, and I had to keep re-inking.
The grass stencil was an inexpensive one from our trip up to the new Hobby Lobby. The shiny blue plastic was very slick and the dauber went over it smoothly. It was also easy to clean with a tissue. I made ghost images, of faded stalks of grass in the background, and also extra parts in the foreground. I really like how this turned out.
The spider web is a Jim Holtz stencil and I was leery of the delicacy, it was also a negative image, so I used a blue for a background on white fabric. I think it came out good, I had to keep re-inking but I got good coverage. It was also nice, because it had NO loose ends, it swiped cleanly.
The ginkgo leaves had large open areas and very tiny, thin loose bits. I definitely had to be careful which direction I swiped it, the dauber was still a bit damp, so I got some dark blurry areas. It got better, the more leaves I made. I decided to go over the darker ones with an ink called "Champagne" I thought it was a pale gold metallic, but it was more of a light gold shimmer. It lightened the dark leaves and added a nice highlight. So I spent my morning playing with my inks and hand dyes. I have lots of new stencils I haven't tried yet, a nice delicate dragonfly, a wood grain, and sea shells, and fish skeletons. I could play like this a long time. I also want to try shading two colors on the same stencil, blending the colors. I have so many stencils now, that I need to make a list so I don't buy a duplicate. I also need to try the ink with my own hand cut botanical stencils. Stay tuned to see what I come up with next. Also check the previous post. Comments would be appreciated.

I am linking this with Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click here see what other wonderful textile artists have been doing this week.


  1. Oh my gosh, those are awesome!!

  2. Thanks Barb, I had lots of fun, now to find something to make with them.

  3. These all look fantastic, I especially like the ammonites!

  4. These look great. I just bought the fern stencil yesterday, thanks for the warning about the loose bits.