Stencil Design

In order to help the user of my kit to create a personalised textiles piece I want to create a stencil. This will help users to design and cut out shapes which can be used in their project. I could also include stitch guides, a ruler and magnifying glass to make it a multi use applique tool.


After my tutorial David helped me to realise that my initial sketches and ideas for my applique stencil were too clean cut and rigid. The formal layout and structured shapes would push people to create a more traditional image. As my focus is on self expression and illustrating your own personal message this wouldn’t work with my concept. I need to find a way to add an edge to my craft kit. Is there a way to split up the images or symbols I have chosen to use which would allow users to create a more subversive patch. I want to encourage users to build up images and shapes to create a truly unique piece.


Firstly David suggested I look at tattoo art and the way in which classic tattoo designs use simple symbols and are randomly placed all over people’s bodies. I also felt it was an interesting  point as tattoo art is the ultimate form of self expression by adding permanent images to your body. Tattoos are often very sentimental and often portray deeper meaning and messages.


Textiles artist Benji Whalen embroiders stuffed arms with contemporary tattoo art. “The arms are disembodied, and stand in for the entire person. They are, however, given further “identification” by the cut shirtsleeves appended to them. We have the uncanny feeling that we might know the person whose flesh we examine.” (Revere McFadden, 2007:74) Work such as this shows the strong narrative such iconography can have, we do not need to see the character in full to know their personality. The tattoos people choose are a way for them to represent their public persona.


Studio Job

In addition he suggested I drew inspiration from the work of Studio Job in order to inspire a more cluttered, and less formal layout. They often use a more scattered formation which allows them to hide more subversive icons amongst their strong graphic images. What look like traditional stained glass illustrations and marquetry actually include images of bones, antiwar, or anti religious iconography.


Grayson Perry

In a similar way I feel artists such as Greyson Perry combine contemporary iconography and controversial images with more traditional mediums such as pottery and tapestry. Many of his pieces are used as a pictorial reference to document various groups within society. Upon close inspection you can find more political messages and deeper meaning. As they use a traditional craft techniques they seem ageless and their stories can be passed on through generations. This is something I want to translate within my own work. I feel the use of embroidery and applique will help my users to create a more timeless piece and a strong visual message.


Street Art

In addition I think I can draw inspiration from street art. To me this seems like a youthful form of self expression and often includes strong personal and political messages. Paste ups, sticker bombing and graffiti are often layered and I love the creative freedom this allows people. Without strong structure, the imagery flows, overlaps and can be added to. Perhaps fabric pens, paints, badges and patches would enable my users to freely express themselves through textile art.


In a similar way to banner making, wheat pate posters have often been used as a form of guerilla art in which to spread a message . It is also used as an act of defiance. Unlike tattoos and graffiti it is less permanent. As textiles can be unpicked and changed perhaps my kits will enable people to change and adapt their piece as they grow and change as a person.



Finally I like the way in which badges and patches have been used in fashion as a way to express oneself. It especially made me think of the way they were used in the 1970s by punks and by motorcycle clubs to embellish clothing and create one off pieces. I want to make my kit as easy and as accessible as possible so it can appeal to users of any ability. Iron on patches or interfacing would allow anyone can create a individual piece by simply creating their own motifs which can be easily ironed or affixed to their piece.



Revere McFadden, D (2007) Pricked, Extreme Embroidery. New York, Museum of Art & Design.


Figure 1: Stainless Steel drawing stencils. Amazon (2017) Pack of 3 Stainless Steel Drawing Ruler Painting Stencils [Online] [Date Accessed 21st April 2017]

Figure 2: Vintage Tattooed lady. Rebloggy (2013) Awesome vintage women tattoos [Online] [Date Accessed 29th April 2017]

Figure 3: Benji Whalel DFL. Mid West Textiles (2008) Embroidery [Online] [Date Accessed 27th April 2017]

Figure 4: Studio Job Perished Cabinet. Pinterest (2017) [Online] [Date Accessed 27th April 2017]

Figure 5: Studio Job Wallpaper. Arredativo (2016) Design Duo: Studio Job per Seletti [Online] [Date Accessed 27th April 2017]

Figure 6: The Gospel by Studio Job. Domus (2009) The Gospel by Studio Job [Online] [Date Accessed 27th April 2017]

Figure 7: Grayson Perry Tapestry Lamentation. The Guardian (2013) A touch of class: Grayson Perry’s tapestries – in pictures [Online] [Date Accessed 27th April 2017]

Figure 8: Grayson Perry The Rosetta Vase. Cfile Daily (2016) Marketplace | Garth Clark: In Sydney Grayson Gives 13 Steps to “becoming a successful artist like me” [Online] [Date Accessed 27th April 2017]

Figure 9: El Bocho’s Miss Van and Little Lucy in Berlin (Photograph)

Figure 10: How to Make a Wheatpaste Poster. Wonder How To (2015) How to Make a Wheatpaste Poster [Online] [Date Accessed 28th April 2017]

Figure 11: A Collection of patches for sale in Affleck’s Palace Manchester (Photograph)


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