Studio: international art — 49.1910

Page: 191
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Pictorial Stencilling


each of the four quarters of the kitchen-garden
into two parts, and these are again divided by
paths intersecting the espalier walks in the centre
and running at right angles to them. The southern
boundary of this portion of the garden scheme
would be the lawns, and on the northern boundary
would be placed the glass-houses, furnaces, electric-
light houses and gardeners’ bothies. All these
various portions of the garden, useful and beautiful,
planned together in this way, would not only be
interesting pictorially, but would also tend to the
economical working of the whole.

A design for a simple garden doorway is shown
on this page. It is based on a note taken years ago
from an old Early Seventeenth Century English
Renaissance door in stone. Here it is used as the
entrance to a flower-room, which would also be
used as a place wherein to store the various imple-
ments used in tennis, croquet, and other outdoor

(The previous articles in this series -were published in
August, October and December, 1908, March, May, July and
September, 1909, and February, 1910.)


Almost alone among reproductive processes,
Stencil is handiwork from first to last. Speed
and uniformity are not its aim, for these are
more easily attainable by other means; but by
no other process can repetition of design be
varied in a like degree. This is the unique
quality of stencil, by development of which its
scope may be most widely extended; and such
expedients to this end as have occurred to me, I
here describe, hoping that others may improve on
them and carry the craft to a higher level, at least
of pictorial expression, than it has yet reached. As
a style, no less than a process of decoration, stencil
has been so perfected by the late Arthur Silver,
by Ingram Taylor, Francis Heron and others, that
there may be a tendency to look askance on the
pictorial innovation, and a difficulty in accepting
its employment for a purpose to which construc-
tive beauty must be subordinate. That very wise
and gentle critic, Gleeson White (whose memory
we still cherish) said some hard things about pic-
torial intrusion into decorative design ; but he was
so just, so broadly sympathetic, that I think he
would have agreed to the introduction into pic-
torial decoration of a convention regulating it by
formal means, even though the means be less
evident than when more formally applied (that
they should be evident when sought goes without
saying); and this problem I have long been trying
to solve. Decoration is not all formal; among
the Italians it was as pictorial as they could make
it—so too in the Flemish tapestries; and stencil is
a means, not an end. One more apology—for
writing of myself and my own work; there is no
other way to record experiment.

For pictorial stencilling I prefer Chiaroscuro and
Contour, discarding outline as only possible to form
by ties, and therefore negative; for using trans-
parent colour, which darkens where it goes, the tie,
like an opaque line in a photographic negative, tells
light in the print, a pictorial anomaly. Opaque
colour on a dark ground certainly leaves the tie
dark; but unless grounded with opaque pigment
the stencilled surface is of two diverse textures,
like flock printing—a quality that is decorative, not
pictorial. The delicate stencil pictures of Norman
Garstin and Harry Napper, and the bold designs
of T. T. Blaylock are opaquely wrought, I admit;
and certain effects, like reticulated branches or
rigging against sky, call for dark ties; but these

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