Stencils and Stencilling

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Struik Publishers, 2004 - Stencil work - 128 pages
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Stencilling has always been a popular craft and, as one of the oldest forms of surface decoration, it still provides an inexpensive and quick way to enhance virtually any surface. The Stencil Book shows how to get truly professional results as well as easy and quick ways to produce stencils of your own. Divided into seven chapters, The Stencil Book provides the reader with a short history of the craft, clearly explains the products and materials needed and discusses the different surfaces that are suitable for stencilling. There are several practical projects to tackle, including cushions, blinds, tablecloths, curtains, lampshades and cards, amongst others. A 16-page section of stencil templates is also included.

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STENCILS AND STENCILLING (article first published : 2005-02-25)
“FRAGILE”, “THIS END UP”, “MADE IN SOUTH AFRICA” are words in large black letters emblazoned on wooden packing cases and can be
seen on dockside wharves all over the world. These words are produced by a stencil in the hands of a stenciller.
The author of a remarkable book. Stencils and Stencilling, grabs the reader’s attention in the first few lines of her introduction when we learn that stencils were used to produce wall decoration in caves as long ago as 30,000 years BC! Your review was convinced that stencils were only discovered whilst he was at infant school!
The title of this book is the A-Z on the two subjects and says it all. The firs word “stencils” prompts me to tell you about its author, Wendy Craig, who was one of the founders of the Country Craft Market in Somerset West.
Prompted by the cost of imported stencils, she pioneered the art of producing these in South Africa. They were very soon in great demand and the skills of this art-form are beautifully conveyed to the reader in a practical and easy-to-read fashion.
The projects are a far cry from the usual conception of stenciling and encompass working on a great variety of surfaces from fabric paper, wood, walls, ceramics and even our skin!
The photographs of Wendy Craig’s work are different and superbly presented in a fashion so, so original. A picture of cupboard doors opposite page 98 made me take an excited intake of breath. They shrieked of being the work of the famous Scottish architect and furniture designer of the late 1880’s and the early 1900’s - the Art Nouveau period, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who designed the well-known Glasgow School of Art which still is 100 years ahead of its time. But no – these cupboard panels were the work of Wendy Craig. Her name is surely of Scottish origin?
A delightful book to handle – to inspire the creativity that might well lie dormant within you.
Stencils and Stencilling is written by Wendy Craig and published by Struik, retailing at R129.95. – John Simpson
Stencils and Stencilling
Article By: Francoise Gallet
Sat, 26 Mar 2005 12:00
Out of 5:
I would love to see Biggie Best ? with its school-uniform green and white floral settees ? confined to the scrap heap of bad interior decorating trends. And the similar floral flourish that typified the stencilling trend is equally bad taste, in my opinion.
So I was quite surprised ? and even a little embarrassed ? when I found myself inspired by Wendy Craig's "Stencils and Stencilling". The guide is so versatile, it almost transcends style trends: Think great patterns on shower curtains or canvas washing baskets to dinner services and tablecloths and all of a sudden, stencilling for the modern homemaker, is in acceptable territory again.
That flowery and fruity motif for walls, cupboards and skirting boards, does of course feature ? it wouldn?t really be a stencilling book if it didn't ? but, if like me you're not big on that look, you can come up with your own motifs and just make use of the technical advice on the craft. From tools and materials to getting to grips with the colour wheel, Craig has some very useful information which will help you getting started.
Personal decor cynicism aside, "Stencils and Stencilling" is the ideal starter guide for those who thoroughly enjoy DIY home decorating. And, as the whitewashed, blue-by-the-sea look continues to hold its ground in interior decorating magazines, and neo-Victorian enjoys a revival, those with a penchant for such trends will find Craig's book a superb resource.
There's a handy supplier list, stencils to trace for those who aren't good at drawing, and projects to get you started and keep you going. The step-by-step instructions are also sound and each 'project' comes with a needs list. Thoroughly practical, it makes it look as easy as pie. Now, just don't spill that paint!

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