Stenciling is an art that was developed by many cultures. It is an art that early men have abused because of the absence of technological advances like paper, computers and other things that help in the proliferation of art today. It is an art that doesn’t require too much of time and artistic ability. Stenciling only requires that you trace a pattern and you can create your own artwork. Stenciling gives an individual the choice to choose the color that she wants to us for her artwork.
Researchers say the early evidences of stenciling can be found in caves and leaves. Hand imprints were evidences of stenciling in caves. Rumors also say that Eskimos used perishable items in stenciling. These rumors, however, were not fully explored and up to now, there are no evidences that would turn these rumors into facts.
The Japanese and Chinese helped in the development of stenciling through their inventions and initiatives. A Chinese invented the paper and Japanese introduced the use of silk screen to hold patterns. These inventions contributed a lot to the stenciling industry.
The news of the invention of paper and stenciling spread through Asia, Middle East and Europe. The art of stenciling and paper cutting was promoted by changes in leadership and campaigns. In the 16th century, stenciling was utilized together with wood blocks and brush to capture the image of religious persons and make illuminated manuscripts.
In Europe, books with stencil designs were mass produced with the advent of the printing press. Wood craftsmen also used stencil patterns in designing their products. The stencil patterns were used for furniture, embroidery and clothing. Stencils were also utilized to make playing cards. Advancement in the use of stencil patterns was when a French craftsman created wallpaper using stenciled segments. These stenciled segments were later on called dominoes. These dominoes were sold in cheaper prices that the cloth that was originally used as wallpaper.
Nonetheless, a downfall in this era of stenciling is the paper. The paper was not originally produced as it is today. Instead of the usual size of 10m, the paper then was produced in 1-1.25 long by 46cm. The outlining or stenciling was done before the paper was dried. This method produced a messy effect on the design. There were no records as to how the Japanese silkscreen was used by other countries in this time. Maybe, they didn’t knew about it or it was simple not available.
Some difficulties in the stenciling industry also included the lack of resources to buy materials abroad, lack of transportation and the lack of support from the government. Although stenciling was growing and prospering to be an art and a big help to many people, it still couldn’t match the popularity and elegance of painting and music. Stenciling was used by craftsmen and by people who painted religious buildings but this wasn’t enough to achieve the status of painting. It was also used by many household designers but all of these proved futile in the purpose of uplifting the status of stenciling.
Stenciling has gone through an arduous travel before it was established as an art form. It had gone through a momentarily death when no one promoted and pushed for the stenciling art. Despite of these difficulties, stenciling art and artists have proven themselves and are very much highly regarded today.