An Indie Biz: Unhappy Endings

Not every design experiment results in a happy ending. I learned this myself after trying time and time again to create a new top that would feature my very-own wycinanki print. Let’s just say that creating a reusable stencil of a highly intricate pattern is not as resilient as it would seem.

After spending hours painstakingly bent over my first wycinanka I eagerly made the first (and final) print using the stencil. Why didn’t it work? The material I had chosen for the stencil had a self-adhesive, which I thought would aid in the clarity of the print. Wrong! The adhesive stencil was so hard to pull off that I ended up ripping it into pieces, just to get it off the top. So the beautiful airy piece you see photographed here is literally one-of-a-kind – as the print making material was destroyed after its creation.

So I took a deep breath and tried to make a wycinanki stencil again, but this time, on a sturdier material. I resorted to Ms. Stewart’s stencil-making plastic which I knew would be of the best quality (how could the queen of craft settle for selling anything else?!). So I, again, labored for hours making a new wycinanka which I would use to grace my high/low tops with Polish folk inspired prints. All seemed to be going well until I stopped to survey the finished stencil – it was warping. All my detailed cuts and line work were causing it to roll. But no worries, I told myself, there must be a solution. So I resorted to taping the stencil down onto the fabric. Did that work? No! So what did I do? The only thing a desperate artisan could – I lost my discernment and acted rashly to solve the problem.

I busted out my iron and a sheet of natural linen and proceeding to heat the stencil flat. Boy was that a bad idea! My stencil went from having a slight wave to melting! Ugh! Channeling my ethnic roots via printmaking was definitely not working! And what’s worse – I had spent hours and days stubbornly trying to make it happen.

So I’m hear to tell you, despite appearances, be it via blogging or social networking, all of us make mistakes and all of us have our failures. We just may not be as forthcoming and public with them. Which is why I decided to write this post in ode to all the little defeats we all encounter in our creative lives.


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