Spring 2012: Stencil 201

by guest contributor Heather Buzzard

Your spring class load is here, and it’s light, easy, and outlined in silver! Stencil 201 with Ed Roth is your first and only assignment. This cheeky follow-up to his first workbook is more like a delightfully designed folder to hold all your favorite outlines, and includes 25 reusable stencils and a clear DIY guide with projects of gorgeous leather necklaces and funky haircut designs (including a handy recipe for DIY wheat paste). The clear pliable plastic that Roth used to create the designs lies exceptionally flat, allowing for the maximum detail to shine through. Paint is only the first of a thousand mediums these stencils can be used with, and the book covers a good range of embroidery, plastering, glass etching, and pastry decorating potential.

While you’ll probably find yourself at first (like I did) too busy playing with the hands-on stencils to explore the book, once you tire of stenciling yourself wild the book is a great visual idea factory to flip through. Pumped with street art and interior stencil projects, the how-to guide holds an assortment of shiny facts about the artist and author that will substantiate the crush you will have developed on him by now.

Ed Roth’s stencils are pretty hip, no doubt. But in addition to the super-retro typewriter, “dia de los muertos” sugar skull, and techie microphone and video camera, there are some one-of-a-kind designs like the bleeding heart plant and Douglas fir that I would be okay with having stenciled on every blank flat surface in my life. In a dream world, Roth’s stencils would be gargantuan: life size trees and balloon size blossoms to suit whatever space you need filled.

I used Roth’s cutie tweeting birds stencil with a champagne colored spray paint on a green velvet bit of a dress that I’m making into a flag for a mobile.

The groovy grizzly stencil was just the thing this old trapdoor needed to give it an air of bear.

The need to freehand your everyday art is over! No more sloppy paint splattered edges, solid colors, bowl haircuts, or plain undecorated cookies. Thank you, Ed Roth, for making it easy for us to ‘Put a Bird On’ our placemats, our reusable napkins, our book covers, our hair, our wallpapers, our compost containers, our camera cases, and yes, even our hearts.

About the contributor:

Heather Buzzard is a freshly hatched graduate of Emory University, where she studied creative writing, sociology, religion and environmental science. Her time is spent frolicking as a musician in two Atlanta bands, dressing up for silly photoshoots, inventing recipes, and drooling happily over her Indie Fixx work.