I sometimes think now that some Enamelist want to keep some things secret. I didn’t read that, and no one told me that. But from experiences I have had I have thought that. I really hope that is not true, because it would make the art form a tad “sad” to me. I love to explore info, read what others do, and talk. Absorb.
So here I go on Stencils. I am a newbie. As by now you should know. I have no education in Enameling. I do have a college degree though. My education is primarily in the arts. Anyway I have figured out how to use stencils in Enameling. Even my books do not cover the subject well.
I have used the following things,
- Paper – just plain printer paper, I used a Xacto Knife to cut up patterns, then I place this small piece of paper how I want it to lay on the Enamel and sprinkle my powder, sometimes I use a “glue” and sometimes I don’t. It works well. (Stencil Photographed)
- Plastic electronic baggies – I cut these open and cut an appropiate sized piece and then put my silhouette under it and use an Xacto Knife to cut out the form (Stencil Photographed)
- Leaves, Flowers and other plant material – I spray with “glue” the Enameled piece (usually with two layers of Enamel already cooked. And then I lay my plant material how I would like it to look, and sprinkle. I carefully remove the stencil material trying to take with it all the powder that is on top of the material to leave a good edge….works pretty good.
- Tissue Paper punched out with those little cheapie punches. I got a few for $1 each at Michael’s. Once the enamel “glue” dries you pick them up with your tweezers. It worked pretty well actually.
Now I will tell you what didn’t work for me.
- Dragon Fly Wings….the idea was great, but the holes are just too fine. I had some magnificent dragon flies here and the idea was very good. Unfortunately it was a no go….
- Well since Dragon Fly Wings didn’t work I tried some wings from massive flies that we have here that bite horses (and people) and it hurts like the dickens….no go either!
- Plant Matter that does not leave enough space between leaves to make a good mark. The lines need to be fine enough or the piece of copper big enough to let a good idea come through as to what you are trying to acomplish.
I will talk about the ideas I have otherwise.
- Tissue Paper – The idea is to fold it up like a snowflake cut up…and do just that, cut up a fine pattern of a snowflake to use as a stencil. Since the material is cheap and this would make for one of a kind Enamels. You can’t repeat it over and over with the same stencil like the computer bags but that is part of the charm.
- Seeds and other material – there are some really spectacular natural items out there, I just have to figure out where and when to collect them.
- My daughter is going to Japan, maybe there are some neat papers or cut outs that would make for great enameled pieces.
- Pieces of fine lace and other types of fabric that might work.
- Brass jewelry pieces that I have a large collection of, some of these would work well I think because they have holes punched out of the metal.
- Crochet items – Some of these would be very interesting, especially if I can find some pieces that are particularly fine.
- Magazine pictures cut out with the Xacto Knife….especially Silhouettes. Clip Art from clip art magazines. You can download clipart from the net and use this too, just cut it out with the Xacto Knife…
- You get the idea right?! hehe
Anyway, hope this helps someone else figure out what to do, if you don’t like what happened you can always dump it in the trash, wash the piece and try and try again and again! You can even grind off the Enamel and start over if it is what you want to do. Nothing is set in stone.