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The Rise And Fall Of Stenciling

| Articles | May 12, 2011

Stenciling is an art that have travelled throughout the world and have influenced many people. It is a household art where people can do their own art in their homes. They can trace patterns in their free time. They can design their houses by choosing the right pattern and right color. Truly, stenciling is an art that doesn’t discriminate. It helps people in developing and discovering their abilities.

Like most other art forms, stenciling has gone through difficult times when it was considered as a lowly art. Stenciling has also gone a brief death when no stencil artists promoted for the further development of stenciling. Stenciling was promoted in the early ages by Japanese and Chinese. These people were the ones who pushed for the use of paper and silk screen in holding the patterns in places.

On the other hand, the printing press paved way to the production of books with stencil patterns. Domino wallpapers also proliferated and replaced the expensive cloth wallpaper. It was all glory for stenciling at the time. North America early settlers used direct stenciling because they couldn’t import wallpapers and stenciled furniture. These settlers provided their own materials and designed their own furniture through stenciling. Travelling artisans promoted stenciling while they travelled in New England. Stencil designs from this era were identified to 15 artists.

Stenciling was used for designing walls, furniture and shirts throughout the 18th and 19th century. However, stenciling fell when wallpaper became affordable by the end of the 19th century.

The 20th century saw the momentarily death of stenciling. It was merely regarded as a decorating tool. Only a couple of organizations maintained stenciling as an art. The film industry in the United States of America paved way to the resurrection of stenciling. Film frames were stenciled through the beginning of a mechanized process by Pathe’. Stenciling also became alive between the 1920’s and 1930’s. During this time, it was considered fashionable to have stencils in homes.

It was also during this time that stenciling was utilized to produce color separations for book illustrations. French publishers who were influenced by the printed textiles of Japan used the same technique as the hand coloring in England in producing color separations. The usage of stenciling in book designs diminished as the printing revolution came to form.

The 1970’s also witnessed the resurrection of stenciling. People were asking for something else than wallpaper. They wanted to become personal and wanted something to do. This is where stenciling came in. Famous stencil artists like Adele Bishop influenced many people to trek the same journey that they have trekked and this inspiration gave rise to many great artists.

Up to this day, stenciling has become a part of daily activities. From its humble beginnings, stenciling has taken many forms. From the early materials like leaves, tree bark, wood blocks, stencil card and polyester film, stencils today are very different from the stencils in the early times. Today’s stencils come in varied designs, patterns and layers.

Truly, stenciling ahs travelled a long hard way before it was established as an art and not a mere designing tool. Many people are now inclined to stenciling to design their housed, books and their shirts. Stenciling has provided people with the ability to personalize their things. It had provided people the power to choose the design that they want. Moreover, stenciling has given every individual to be an artist in their own right.

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