Art can be seen in many forms. The different forms of art are painting, songs, playing the instruments and photographs. These art forms convey the messages of the artists that painted them, composed them or shoot them. Art forms are powerful tools to deliver messages to the people. One kind of art form that has its own messages is stenciling.

Stenciling can be dated back to Prehistoric Era. Stencil patterns were seen in caves and leaves at that time. Greeks and Romans used stenciling in their paintings, signboards and in other uses. The Chinese and Japanese also used stenciling

Japanese used Katagami stencils to prototype textiles using a method called Katazome. Katazome is a reverse dye stenciling that includes the use of rice paste, and silk. Katazome is done by applying rice fix through a pattern onto the silk. Rice paste is applied on the stencil until it is copied on the clothing. After the pattern has been copied, the clothing is dyed with a coloring of indigo. The paste is then removed to expose the pattern.

Japanese used slim sheets of mulberry bark that were treated in persimmon juice. These sheets are then piled together and are cut by a blade. This method enables the artist to cut several stencils at a time and be assured that the same pattern is on all the stencils.

The invention of the paper paved way for Chinese to divulge themselves in stenciling. Chinese began cutting paper for stencil designs. These stencil designs were used in designing plates and textiles.

Although the Japanese and Chinese succeeded with their stenciling, there were difficulties that they encountered. One of these difficulties is there were some isolated parts of the design. An example of this difficulty is the falling out of the outer part of the letter O. The Japanese solved this problem by pasting or gluing loose pieces on the stencil. Later, the Japanese used silk strand as a bridge.

This bridge possessed the quality of strength and invisibility that enables the artist to pattern the designs onto clothing without any trace of the bridge. The usage of such bridge became the start of silk screening. Today, silk screening is frequently used in imprinting designs onto shirts and other types of clothing.

The Japanese and the Chinese have contributed a lot in the development of stenciling. A Chinese invented the paper and it was through this invention that stenciling achieved greater heights. The Japanese solved the problem of too loose papers and fueled the start of silk screening.

The paper and silk screening were a great help in the development of stenciling. It was through these medium that stenciling achieved greater heights and catered to more audiences. Up to this day, papers are still sometimes used fro stenciling especially when it comes to children’s art assignments and activities. On the other hand, silk screen has boomed to be an entirely different industry. Many people have grown rich because of this industry.

Many factors have contributed to the development of stenciling today. The inventions of Chinese and Japanese people are just two of the people who have helped push for the advancement of stenciling. Their contributions are still very alive today and are widely used by the world. Stenciling is truly an art that is rooted in history and was nurtured by many cultures.


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