Cley Marshes III – Paper Cuts and Stencils


Going back to one of the sections taken from my original marsh scene, I traced one of the enlarged pieces onto ordinary tracing paper.  I used the old-fashioned method of tracing the outline with a soft pencil and then going over the design on the back so that I could transfer the design onto paper. I flipped the design so that I had a mirror image and thought that it had an art nouveau feel – it might make a nice stencil. More likely is that just a small portion of it could be used as the basis for a printing block or for a border design.


I then flipped the tracing paper in the other direction and put that design onto the back of a coloured sketchbook page, making a paper cut design with this version.  Again, it was a symmetrical design, so I’m not sure that I will be using it straight away, but I did enjoy making the paper cut page. These cut-through layers obviously translate well to textile work but I think making stencils and cut-away designs involve a lot of thought and planning!


If you look closely at the paper cut above you can see some ‘fluffy bits’ where my cutting isn’t particularly sharp – more practise needed!  However, I used a super little tool that I picked up a few years ago when I saw it demonstrated at the Knitting and Stitching Show.  It takes a bit of practise to become proficient but it is excellent if you want to do a lot of intricate cutting on paper – the above is good quality cartridge and it would be fine for thin card too.  If I were to make a stencil in acetate I would probably still use a soldering tool, but I can recommend the Gyro Cutter as it is particularly good for cutting curves and meandering lines.  I purchased the fabric version the following year but must confess I have never used it!!!



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