In creating my stencils I came out with a variety of layouts. Each stencil is to measure 30X30cm (the size of the finsihed sample) so users can simply draw around them and plan their layout within the space. My initial idea was to create a set of large shapes for beginners as they wouldn’t be too fiddly to sew. In this design I found it difficult to find an interesting layout within my prescribed size. The layout felt like a generic stencil and not subversive or modern. I also included a number of stitch guides to help those who a new to embroidery.
For larger shapes my second design seemed to work better as the shapes were more unusual and could be used in more rebellious ways.
My next few designs had more of a scattered and random layout and included some symbols of resistance. These were inspired by tattoos and graffiti and I much prefer this look. I also included an etched ruler along one side and a magnifying glass in the centre so it also becomes a multi functional tool to be used while planning and making your embroidery.
I also wanted to include a series of letters in the kit so people can included messages of protest. I used a traditional stencil font as this is resistant to spray painted protest signs. Initially I had a standard alphabet layout, but I worried it looked too much like a child’s stencil kit. I also experimented having the letters laid out in a jumble, however this just seemed to make the piece more confused and would probably be a hindrance to the user.
I decided to use a Qwerty keyboard layout as most people spend all day writing on keywords either at work or on their phone. I hope this layout would encourage users to include short statements in their piece almost similar to a 140 character tweet where people express their opinions and views.
In this deign I tried to experiment with mirrored imagery inspired by the work of Studio Job, I moved the ruler to the centre and shapes sit on either side. Only on having this piece laser cut did I realised the fragility as it broke almost instantly. This could have been avoided if the ruled slit didn’t come as close to the edge of the stencil or if it had been constructed in stronger material such as metal
My final design again used a mirrored pattern similar to studio job. I feel this layout was the most effective in looking modern and interesting. The busy, clustered feel is reminiscent of sticker bombing and tattoo art and can be effectively used to build up a variety of interesting symbols.