Sunday, February 17, 2008

Halftone Stencils

Almost all stencil graffiti operates on the principle of separating thresholding colors. Last summer, on the side of a Roman business, I saw another approach: line engraving. It made me wonder, "what other techniques have yet to be explored with stencils?"

The first one I've imagined is halftone stenciling. Ideally, there would be some cheap way to create a halftone stencil "printer" able to cut many small holes of variable size from card/paper. I can only imagine it involving some sort of spiral/conical head where variable depths correspond to variable diameters. With four layers we could reproduce images using a CMYK separation model. A quick prototype might be done with Illustrator and laser cutter.

Surprisingly, at least two people have endeavored to produce these by hand. One took two weeks, the other used paper instead of card ("no fucking way am i cutting a 1000's holes on card n lose all feeling in my index finger for 3weeks").

Update: it works. If you have access to a laser cutter, you can make your own.

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