Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Using Stencils with Iris-Folding!

Thanks to my friend Mary Ann Russo, a whole new way to use stencils has opened before my eyes.

I will share this iris-folding technique over a space of two days.  This post is the first segment; it continues tomorrow.   

This artwork of Mary Ann's measures 8.5" x 11".  It fits into a standardized mat of 11" x 14" (which comes with a 9.5" x 7.5" opening.)

Feel free to click on the above image to enlarge it and better see details.

How did Mary Ann get from my 6" x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots --

-- to the gorgeous full-sized artwork at the top of this post?

First, the supply list:

the stencil above (or any other silhouette stencil, like Heron, Cats, etc.)

a light table (but a window will do)

a regular pencil -- plus colored pencils

one or more sheets of sturdy (not lightweight) cardstock

a stack of foldable papers such as scrapbook papers -- these papers need to be sturdy enough to hold a fold but not as sturdy or thick as cardstock 

copy paper

masking tape

a gluestick


a clear plastic ruler such as a quilter's ruler

an Exacto knife and a cutting board (or a paper-cutter, either rotary or guillotine

a clear plastic page protector 

(optional:  a pre-cut mat in the standardized size of your choice)

Step 1:

As shown above, trace the silhouette of choice onto copy paper.

Step 2:

Use your photo-processing PC program or a copy machine to enlarge the tracing to whatever size you want.  

But bear in mind that the measurements in this write-up correspond with a figure that fits into a standardized mat of 11" x 14" (with a 9.5" x 7.5" opening.)

Step 3:

With your ruler and plain pencil, draw in lines.  Space each line no larger than ¼ inch apart.  As you draw the lines, number them, as shown below.  These numbers will guide you in placement of your paper strips. 

Click on the drawing above to enlarge it and better see details.

You may want to write out a color-to-number key to this drawing.  An example is below.  It lists individual colors with their corresponding numbered areas.

Now, if you haven chosen to enlarge your parrot beyond the size of Mary Ann's, it's time to make a few enlargements of different sizes.  Then place your chosen mat over each of these enlargements, auditioning them to find the size that fits to your satisfaction.  

It's important to do this after you have drawn the lines shown in the step above.  This will determine the width of the paper strips you will be cutting in a coming step.

Step 4:

Use colored pencils to color in each area as designated in the drawing (and in the key, if you choose to write one out.)  

Step 5:

Using masking tape, attach the drawing to a lightbox, as shown above; or use a window.  

Step 6:

Place your sturdy cardstock atop the drawing.  Here -- only for the sake of this demo -- orange cardstock is used.  (For the final image, shown at the top of this post, the cardstock was white.)

In step 6, use a regular pencil to draw around the outlined shape, as shown above.

Below, this outlining is finished --

Click on any of these images to enlarge them and better see details.
Step 7:

Place the cardstock on a cutting board.  With the Exacto knife, cut along the outlined shape.

(Avoid trying to use scissors for this step.  An Exacto knife is the tool that will retain every fine detail.) 

Keep in mind that you are working on the back side of the paper.  This will matter, in the end.

Above, the cut-out is complete.

Step 8:

With masking tape, attach the colored diagram to your work surface. Using more tape, overlay this paper with a clear plastic page protector. The photo below, in the middle top, shows light reflecting off this plastic.

Step 9:

The photo below shows the cardstock, minus its cut-out, placed over the plastic-protected color diagram --

What you see above, is the back-side of the cardstock.  This is important to keep in mind for the next step.  

Tomorrow's post will continue today's iris-folding project.

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