Yew haw, My friend Mary Beth Shaw’s brand new book is out. Stencil Girl; Mixed-Media Techniques for Making and Using Stencils has been released by North Light book. Last year, Mary Beth asked me if there was anything I could do with stencils to make some jewelry. Ummm….heck yes, that’s the awesome part of mixed-media jewelry. You can ALWAYS make jewelry using just about any technique there is. Mary Beth said, “Great! Can you do something for my book?” My email reply was one word: “Absolutely!”
I think a lot of you know that my art background is self-taught and that it began with paper crafting. To this day, I love, and I mean LOVE creating with rubber stamps. The cool thing about knowing how to rubber stamp is that anything you can do with a stamp, you can also do with a stencil. Etching onto metal is a technique that I really enjoy doing in my studio. I have quite a stamp collection of images and lots of copper and bronze metal sheet and my trusty StazOn ink pads. These basic supplies and some ferric chloride and I’m good to go.
For my etched bracelets in Mary Beth’s book, I began with 20-gauge bronze sheet metal. When Mary Beth and her husband began Stencil Girl Products a few years ago, they began with her designs. I still have her original stencils and love them for their abstract and organic nature. I pulled the stencils from my stash, taped them to my metal sheet and rubbed black StazOn ink over them to transfer the pattern to the bronze. I then etched the metal and did the metalworking to complete the cuffs. Of course, I wanted to add something more to the cuffs, but since the purpose of this art project was to showcase the technique, all I did to finish them was to add the patina of Jax Brown and then polish with extra fine steel wool.
This is the only metalworking jewelry project in her book. The focus is amazing surface design techniques and all kinds of crafty projects that you can easily create at home using stencils. There are lots of “wow” factor projects that show just how versatile stencils are for mixed-media art; such as her wood burning and encaustic art boards and her painted memories travel journal of her workshop in Durfort. (The same place Susan and I teach when we’re in France.) There are also some wonderful inspirational art samples from some of the top mixed-media teachers/artists in the field today like Pam Carriker, Seth Apter, Leighanna Light, Jane LaFazio, Laurie Mika, Traci Lyn Huskamp and others. I highly recommend buying this book for yourself or other mixed-media art/craft lovers on your holiday shopping list. Also, for more stencil inspiration, be sure to check out Stencil Girl Products company blog.
Here’s wishing everyone a truly Artful day!