Project: Information Highway

Take two products …

Last year I invested in several new stencils. In theory I could have cut some of them myself but the strain on my hands and possible mistakes when doing this wasn’t worth it. So the question becomes this: is my printed outcome really my own work as I’ve used a commercially available product as a start point? Before deciding let’s explore how I used it.

For this project I limited myself to two items, the aforementioned stencil and some sequin waste. I love sequin waste, it gives great results when both printing and masking. If you’re not familiar with it, imagine a strip of coloured synthetic (plastic essentially) ‘foil’ where the sequin shapes have been cut away. The remainder is often sold as a roll in discount shops and I picked some up years ago and have been using it ever since.

When monoprinting a while ago I kept the waste prints from my cut sequin shape. No use as a print but good to upload into Photoshop and manipulate. I painstakingly cut it from the background, resized it and improved the image.

As it was now a psd file and free-standing I was able to use it as and where I wanted in a new composition.

Moving on to the stencil, I chose an existing monoprint I’d made with acrylic paints and clingfilm as my base. By scanning, applying Photoshop filters, layering, rotating and fading I was able to build a multi-layer image over the background before inserting the sequin print scan.

I exposed my solar plate and took a proof print.

And I added colour.

I immediately realised it was impossible to limit a single colour to the ‘information cells’ section without it straying onto the ‘cables’ area, so I approached it from another angle. I mixed varying strengths of blue, strategically spread them across the whole surface ensuring I had the most intense hue on the cells then I overlaid yellow in selected places.

Claire Brach, Information Highway, 2021, oil-based inks on 250gsm BFK Rives

I’ll leave the viewer to decide if this use of commercial products, albeit distorted from their origin, constitutes an outcome demonstrating my own concepts, or not.

About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in Design Play, My Creative Pieces, My prints and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Project: Information Highway

  1. smam85 says:

    This is exactly the question that I have been pondering too Claire. I think that in the case you demonstrate you have ‘distorted’ the original stencil from it’s origin so far that it really is your own work now.

    • Claire B says:

      I guess when you think about it we all need inspiration from somewhere and I’ve tried to use the stencil in such a way that it’s not obviously just a clone or image of the original item. I’ve endeavored to ‘disguise’ it by using it in a less recognisable way.

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