Saturday, January 10, 2009

Paper Resist

Awhile back, someone had asked me about my paper resist process. Now that I'm all settled and making work again (!!) I thought I'd go ahead and post about this technique.

The photo above shows one of my drawings that I've begin to cut. I tend to cut the interior spaces first before cutting the outline of the shape, which gives the delicate areas a little more support. Using a fresh blade also makes cutting go much more smoothly. I typically layer a number of sheets beneath the original image so I get multiples each time I cut since these are quite time consuming!

Here you see the finished stencils - I just use our scrap paper from the recycle bin. I have noticed that different papers respond differently to moisture. Some separate, which makes it difficult to peel up the stencil after wetting (you'll see an example of this in a later image)...

I'm going to stencil some juice cups with the car stencil above. This stencil was cut using the same method as the oil rig.

I have now applied the stencil and am ready for the top slip coat. Before placing the stencil, I painted an area of the cup with black underglaze (I use amaco velvet underglaze) and then position the dry stencil. To wet the paper, I spray it using a spray bottle with a fine mist. It is important to remove any air bubbles and to check the edges to make sure they have adhered well to the surface. Timing is key here. You don't want to see wet areas on the surface of the cup, but you also don't want the stencil to become dry (otherwise it will begin to release from the piece). I tend to apply my underglaze, put the stencil right on and wet it, pat with a sponge to remove excess water and then immediately apply my overcoat.

Here you see the white slip applied over the stencil. I use a deflocculated slip and apply it with a brush. I remove the stencil as soon as the surface of the slip loses it's sheen - they tend to stick less that way. Some people leave them until the paper begins to dry and pull away from the surface, but I'm not that patient!

The result after peeling off the stencil.

And the finished pair of cups! If you look at the cup on the right, you can see where the stencil didn't come off very cleanly. As long as the top coat of white slip is removed, this paper residue should just burn off in the firing...

I'm currently trying to find a material that I could resue rather than these single use paper stencils. It is such a drain on my time to have to cut these for each piece I make, but I really like the way they look. I need something that will stick to the surface but not break down with water. Any ideas??

15 comments:

Judy Shreve said...

Thanks for the great tutorial. Hayne Bayless (www.sidewaysstudio.com) uses Tyvek for stencils. It's a woven material used in buildings as a vapor barrier I think. Anyway it comes in rolls or sheets. The stencils made out of this can be reused. Check it out. I think Hayne finds it at building sites in the trash pile. But don't get arrested - lol I think Home Depot/Lowes carries it as well.

cindy shake said...

Thank you for sharing! I have used shelf liner before for some stencil work. If you use the heavier weight (better quality) of shelf liner it does not tear as easy and will stay put if the surface it is being applied to is a bit damp. But I agree with the previous post, Tyvek is a great solution and won't tear or curl as easy as shelf liner vinyl.

http://artmakinginthenorth.blogspot.com/

Kip said...

Thanks for the ideas - I will definitely give both shelf liner and tyvek a try. It would be SO great to get a longer life out of these stencils!

Kip said...

Cindy -- I just checked out your blog, the fish are fantastic! I bet the plaster picks up all of the details... I was born and raised in Anchorage - it's lovely to see some pictures from up north - I miss it there terribly!

Ron said...

Nice work Kip. Thanks for sharing.

ang said...

lovely stuff kip, excellent pieces with form & image complementing each other..and a great tut. as well..

www.jeffmartinceramics.blogspot.com said...

thanks kip! great cups...i ate a bowl of granola and milk while reading your tutorial..it was a little slice of heaven!

stencil man said...

I really like your technique. Have to give it a go.

jeanette said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing your technique. Love the final look.

Patricia Griffin said...

Great post Kip! And Judy's suggestion (including arrest-avoidance) is a good tip. Thanks!

Linda Starr said...

Hi Kip, what a great tutorial and great photos illustrating your technique, thanks so much. What type of knife do you use to cut out the stencils?

Martina Lantin said...

Kip.
Nice explanation! i have always dampened the paper before putting it on and found that more difficult with detailed resists. i'll try it your way
martina

Kip said...

Linda -- I use a xacto knife with a number 11 blade. It seems to do the job!

Pam said...

Kip, Thanks for the step by step photos and info. excellent work. -pb

Stencil Man said...

You could try using Drafting film. Its thin. water proof. takes pen and ink beautifully. Can be reused hundreds of times and cuts very well. you can even put it through your printer.