"The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future."

Theodore Roosevelt

Hand stencils, made by blowing pigment over a hand held against a wall, are found from over 35,000 years ago in Asia and Europe, and later prehistoric dates in other continents.

 

 

 

In Europe, from about 1450 they were commonly used to color old master prints printed in black and white, usually woodcuts. This was especially the case with playing-cards, which continued to be colored by stencil long after most other subjects for prints were left in black and white.

After that stenciling has been used as a historic painting technique on all kinds of materials. Stencils may have been used to color cloth for a very long time; the technique probably reached its peak of sophistication in Katazome and other techniques used on silks for clothes during the Edo period in Japan.

 

 

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