Sunday, October 17, 2010

Painting and Printing Fabric: Making Stamps and Stencils

Hand cut stamp made from one
inch rubber insulation foam
Reverse side of circle stamp
Knit fabric using stencil (pictured
below--Squares) and stamp with
squares; and stamp with circles
I've been taking the last few days of good weather (sunshine, still in the 60's but barely) to paint and print fabric in my summer studio (aka my garage).  I try to paint outside so the mess is easily cleaned up and use the autumn, winter, and early spring for creating inside.  A lot of the fabric I'm using is knit, my choice for my one-of-a-kind dolls as well as the dolls that are poseable.  (Created because my hand problems needed a softer fabric that I didn't have to stuff hard:  that's knit fabric and it opened up a new world of dollmaking to me.  (Visit my website or to see my 8 patterns available.)
Printed knit fabric using circle stamps

I've also made many new stamps and stencils.  Stamps I make out of 1" thick insulation foam which I buy from the scratch pile at Grand Rapids Rubber here in GR on Chaffee Blvd.  It's somewhat expensive but the stamps last forever it seems and with a very sharp bladed Xacto knife any shape is easily cut.  For stencils, I've been using the pile of excess manilla file folders I have.  Again, the Xacto knife works the best with the folder laid on top of a pile of newspapers or a thick magazine.  To keep the stencil impervious to water after using it, coat it with a clear acrylic medium.

Note the dark knit fabric on which I stenciled the tiny triangles:  a lighter color on dark fabric, especially textured (herringbone on right), gives an interesting effect.
Printed knit using XXX stamp

Stencils, all my own design and hand
cut, except for upper left; purchased
stencils should be surrounded with
a wide plastic/heavy paper and taped
on both sides.

Woven fabric on left and knit on right with tiny triangle
stencil; note below how the light color stenciled onto a
dark fabric creates an interesting subtle effect.