The Victorians were very fond of stencilling, it was seen everywhere in its day; in both public and private buildings of any consequence. Nowadays stencilling is mainly employed to recreate or restore historic decoration (as in St Pancras Station) or to recreate lost wallpaper effects. However the design of bespoke, new stencil schemes for new or contemporary buildings is a developing market for us too.
For recreations and replications of traditional schemes, we normally employ traditional Victorian techniques for the production of stencils and the application of traditional or modern paints, flat oils or gilding. However, we are gradually moving into creating bespoke patterns using computer graphics and automated laser cutting in order to create new stencilling schemes for modern or renovated buildings. The big advantage of this development is that we can show the client the finished effect via vector drawings. Once approved we can laser-cut, intricate stencils to build up the required effects.
Because of the huge range of variety in detail and scale, stencilling is an adaptable and effective decorative technique where we can utilise modern paints, flat oils or traditional paints. We can also apply gilding through stencils to provide intricate enhancement.
Experience of stencilling is essential in order to make schemes work effectively. The correct laying out, or altering spacings, to create the desired visual impact takes “eye” and experience. Designs can be multi-coloured and very intricate, and are applied in layers, one after the other. The vision of Hare and Humphreys decorators and their skill in application are vital for success.