Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rubbing Plates, Flip-Flops and Stencils

Because I will soon be posting my new art papers made with a rubbing plate, I'm now re-posting the original write-up that covers this technique: 

My friend Mary Ann Russo made a series of rubbing plates using my stencils, then used those plates to make prints/rubbings on fabric.   Next, Mary Ann and her granddaughter, Marissa, cut up some flip-flop synthetic sandals and, with a heat gun,  used the rubbing plates to make rubber stamps.  I used those rubber stamps in my artwork; I also borrowed those rubbing plates to make prints/rubbings of my own -- on paper.

Mary Ann's method called for cutting matboard (sturdy cardboard) into squares and rectangles slightly larger than the stencils and coating them  with water-thinned gel medium on both sides, and along all edges.  Coating with water-thinned gel medium is an optional step that Mary Ann took because she wanted the rubbing plates to be washable.

After the gel medium had dried, Mary Ann masking-taped the stencils in place on the coated cardboards and used a spreading tool to apply a mix of molding paste and acrylic paint thru the openings of the stencils.  (Acrylic paint was added to the molding paste to make the resulting 3D patterns easier to see.)

 Above is an example of one of my stencils -- 9"X12" Twinship -- being placed onto the rectangle of pre-coated matboard.

 Above, Mary Ann is placing the mix of molding paste and acrylic paint onto the stencil, which rests on the matboard.  Notice that she had secured the stencil to the matboard with strips of blue masking tape.  This tape also holds the matboard in place on her working surface.

Above, Mary Ann uses an old spoon to spread the mixture thru the openings on the stencil.

As soon as this step is finished, she lifts off the stencil --

-- and places the stencil to soak in a water-filled basin.  It will be cleaned later, when all the rubbing plates have been created.

Here are other rubbing plates Mary Ann made:

The rubbing plate above was made with my 6"X6" stencil Links.

The printing/rubbing plate above was made with my 9"X12" stencil
Ivy 9.

The printing/rubbing plate above was made with my 6"X6" stencil Ferns 6.

The above plate was made with my 6"X6" stencil Grid.

The plate above was created with my 6"X6" stencil Ivy 6.

The above plate was created with my 6"X6" stencil Marbles 6.

Here are rubbings that I made using crayons with these plates on pre-painted papers --


Besides using her rubbing/printing plates to made rubbings on fabric with Shiva Sticks, Mary Ann Russo also used the plates to make rubber stamps.  First, she cut up a pair of flip-flops -- synthetic foam sandals:

Her next step was to use a heat gun to soften the surface of one of the flip-flop pieces and to press this soft surface against a printing/rubbing plate.  Below are two of the rubber stamps she made this way:

Above are two imprints made with these flip-flop stamps and black ink.

Below are two acrylic paintings of mine; the flip-flop stamps were used to create texture in selected areas: 

Mary Ann's rubbing plates can also serve as collagraphic printing plates to be used with a Gelli Plate.  Acrylic paint would be brayered across the Gelli, then these plates would be placed face-down onto the Gelli and gently pressed into the paint, leaving an impression.  Then the plates would be lifted and a print would be pulled, using paper with the Gelli Plate.

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