Looking for a "new" substrate for stencil-printing? Try mica, a translucent mineral that comes in thin layers (and can be split into even thinner layers to create additional pieces and get more bang for your buck!) Several types of mica are available; some has a reflective quality much like a mirror. Others are tinted brown; still others are nearly as clear as glass.Several online sources exist for ordering sheets of mica. One of the packages I've ordered looks like this:
These tiles can be layered over paper or any other surface, using a clear-drying adhesive such as gloss gel -- it takes only a small dot or two of the gel, and in fact it's better to use a couple of dots rather than to spread the gel across the entire piece of mica.
Because it's flat, mica can be used for layered art that will fit smoothly onto the pages of an art journal. But, because it's also rigid, it can also work beautifully on a journal cover as 3D art, supported underneath by 3D pop-up glue dots.
My only caution is that, despite it being a mineral, its splitting quality sometimes makes it a little fragile around the edges of each piece. The more the sheets are split apart, the more fragile these edges become. When they first arrive, they are thickly layered, with barely any fragility. But I end up splitting my tiles, to make them more translucent and to increase the number of tiles in each package.
Stencil-printed mica really makes a statement when used as "dangle-art." You can punch a hole in the top of stencil-printed mica to make dangle earrings, Christmas tree ornaments and wire-linked charms for hanging in windows.
Today I'm posting artwork made on mica with some of my stencils....
|Above: To embellish this greeting card cover, I painted a layer of silver metallic acrylic paint over a tile of mica and used the 9"x 12" mask Clustered Leaves with heavy-body black acrylic paint to imprint the shapes of leaves. Then I came back in with a red permanent marker to brighten the diagonal lines in the leaves.
|Above: In developing this greeting card cover, I started by making 2 prints on the greeting card blank -- one with heavy body silver metallic paint and 9"x 12" Clustered Leaves, and one with heavy body metallic copper acrylic paint and 9"x 12" Loopy Ladders. After those two prints had dried, I used extra heavy gloss acrylic gel to add a barrel-shaped mica tile printed using 9"x 12" Loopy Ladders with the same copper paint. Atop that, I added a photo of an artwork I'd painted years ago.
|Above: I used heavy body silver metallic paint and 9" x 12" Clustered Leaves in decorating this rectangular mica tile. After that paint dried, I used extra heavy gloss acrylic gel to adhere the tile to a sheet of corrugated cardboard previously painted with red and purple acrylic paints.
|Above center: Loopy Ladders was used on a piece of reflective mica; again the paint was heavy body metallic copper acrylic paint and again the background is previously painted corrugated cardboard.
|Above: an isolated leaf printed with 9" x 12" Clustered Leaves (notice the translucency of the mica which lets you see part of the foil background)
|Above: one leaf from Clustered Leaves (again, notice the translucency of the mica which lets you see part of the background, which was created with a combination of Clustered Leaves and Loopy Ladders, the same as it had been in an earlier example in today's post.
Today's featured masks look like this:
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