Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Using Stencils for Faux Papercasting with Paper Solvy

Today's post focuses on an old technique that I've dusted off.  

Paper Solvy is made for fabric arts and is available at as well as other places.

Note:  It's important to look for Paper Solvy -- in a package of 12 8.5"embossing 
X11" sheets -- not the Solvy Stabilizer Roll, which is a plastic-like material.  I have never tried this technique with the latter; my hunch is that it would not work.

For today's demo, I've chosen Feathers & Lattice, a 9" x 12" stencil by one of my fellow designers at, Daniella Woolf.  Below are the results:


My first step was to cover the work surface with a thick layer of newspaper.  

Next, I placed a stencil atop the newspaper layers, then placed a sheet of Paper Solvy over the stencil.

I used a mister to spray the Solvy with water-diluted watercolors, soaking each area until I could see the Solvy beginning to dissolve and take on the shapes of the stencil's openings.  

I was careful to  avoid over-wetting the Solvy; this would make it dissolve.  (But when you go to try it, you may decide you want your finished piece to have holes shaped around the stencil's openings.  You're the artist!)

Dry-time depends on humidity level.  Be prepared for a long wait.  

After the Solvy is completely dry, it can be peeled off the stencil.  Its molded shapes can then be highlighted with dry media -- Pan Pastels, etc.

These faux "papercastings" are beautiful in collages and on greeting cards.  To avoid re-wetting this fragile material, I use extra-heavy gel medium for adhering these embossed "papers" to collages.  When I add them to greeting card covers, I use a dry adhesive; one of my favorites is Tombow Mono Glue Sticks. 

Another material that might work with stencils to create an embossed result is:  Toilet tissue!  Use double-ply, and  lay down two layers, one atop the other, before spraying with diluted watercolor.  (I've read about this approach but haven't tried it myself.)

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