Monday, August 24, 2009


Before I owned a thermofax, I had purchased a box of 20 stencils, not fully realizing the equipment needed to develop them. They stayed in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator until I found out about mail order imaging services. While the stencils seemed OK at the time the screens were burned. Over time, I ended up with many sheets of thermofax stencil that had started to separate (some imaged, some not) and thought all was lost. Trying to reheat them with an iron proved disasterous, causing bubbles and distortion, even with a teflon pressing sheet. Still I am such a packrat I somehow didn't throw them all out.

After I finally obtained a thermofax at a government auction, I found I could run the stencils back through the machine without a photocopy, and refuse the plastic to the mesh. For those that had been burned, and their paper backing removed, I was able to sandwich them in a carrier and have them refuse relatively well without distortion. They did not become the long lasting stencils they might have been if they had been stored properly for not too long, but they were not a complete waste, and gave me tools to work with immediately. I used screen blockout on any edges that needed reinforcing.

I found I needed to complete the process of printing with these designs. Sometimes seizing the moment of inspiration and motivation is what is most important, and I had a chance to proof the design and make adjustments in the next one. I am also trying to use what I have. Now I am ready to move on to more evolved imagery for the next screens, being older and wiser, with a better understanding of what works both visually and technically.

Enid Adams-Surface Design Studios

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