Category: What The Hell Is Pochoir?


Book Carving

I finally got round to making a little blog about the book carvings. Have a snoop and feel free to leave comments, maybe you could be the first!  http://bookcarving.blogspot.com/  Fruesli

Artistic Inspiration!

Here’s a little background on the inspiration and process behind some of my art.

For my stencils sometimes I doodle until I find an image I like, and I’m not great at drawing, I readily admit that, but I think that gives it a bit of charm. I scan it in, blow it up, and cut it out. Personally the thing about doodling is that you let your mind wander, its not a conscious process. For the record these are where the slightly weirder creations come from.

DevilMy SpineSnowman

I got right into doing stencils of people. People’s faces, people doing weird things, people sword fighting. The usual kind of stuff. This was a bit of an obsession for a while and I spent a lot of my time looking at people and seeing them in terms of potential stencil. Postencials. I made heaps of these and they were a good way of honing my cutting abilities.

Wedding Photo

As I got into experimenting with more colours and layers, I realized that this form of art is really accessible to so many people. And can be so effective.

Whilst doing these stencils I thought about bigger stencils and how to do different kinds of stencils. The books I carve are I guess a different form of stenciling. Each page has an individual stencil cut into.

For these I purposefully set out to create an art that was a simple ‘A’. You can’t misinterpret it, no, not that ‘A’. Take for example a rose in a book of roses, or an eagle in a book of eagles. You don’t have to be a genius to see a pattern. I’ve had comments from people about these as “a representation of beauty within age”, but that’s really not what its about. I start with a book about ‘something’ and cut a picture of that ‘something’ into it.

These became quite popular and I have had a number of commissions from people to make them personalised books. I did a stint of work for Te Papa in their conservation department, and the the conservators there were really enthusiastic about these books. It was a real validation as an artist, having these people who have spent the last 10-15 years looking at and fixing a whole variety of art, seeing my art and liking it so much. It really broadened my perspectives and gave me a little more hope in the possibility of getting somewhere with it.

Miniature Roses

Graphic design I enjoy because I haven’t trained in it, and it seems like this allows me to sidestep all those preconventions that designers have to abide by. I can design the way I want to, not the way society wants me to. I worked for BATS’ Theatre producing a number of their ‘whats on’ Guano flyers, as well as various other images and pages. I also did some stencil work inside doing signwork and images.

Guano Cover 4Guano Cover 3Guano Cover 2Guano Cover 1

Hello there,

Glad you could make it. I’ve kindly been offered a position here on this blog as a way to exhibit a little art. What a great idea! So without further ado I will give you a little introduction to what I do. Sorry I’ll try not to rant.

Alex vs The Toaster

To cut a long story short, I’ve been doing art for a few years now. I don’t know if I could call it a passion because I’m a little slack at getting on to doing it, but when it’s underway it doesn’t take long before I remember how much fun it is.

I like to use art as an expression of how I feel about the art scene in the modern age… which is ironic really, because I originally got into making art for art-sake rather than for the message’s sake. The message behind my works is that in fact there doesn’t have to be a motive to every piece of art you see.

While I was at University I wiled away a small part of my time in a couple of design papers, and a few arts based media papers. The message from these was undeniable. “Every piece of art you see, the artist wanted to convey A, B, C, D, etc”. In short nothing is without reason. My reaction was to try construct art, devoid of meanings or intent.

me4

I wanted to make art about which I could stand back and tell people that there was no concept behind this, there was no reason for doing this, other than because I wanted to, or thought it would look cool.

That should do for now, I’ll write a little more about inspirations (and other exciting things) next time.

Bye for now.

Giles is our youngest son, at 22 he’s establishing himself as an artist & creative thinker. He completed a BA at Victoria, two years ago & found he had a real passion for design & lateral thinking!

Giles started off carving books, these are 3D representations of images that are revealed when the book is opened. As an unbiased observer I think they are brilliant. From there he also got into ‘Pochoir’ which is an old French term: Pochoir (French: “stencil”), as distinguished from ordinary stenciling, is a highly refined technique of making fine limited editions of stencil prints. It is often called hand colouring, or hand illustration. Quote from Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

He has transformed images of people, & also created some great images such as the ‘Say “No” To Toast’ print, & “Don’t Ignore Buttons.”

We were thinking about how to promote his work, &  realised we have a ready made site here for starters, so please take the time to browse the images, & even better you could get a unique ‘pochoir’ of one or more of your family or friends, or commission a book carving as a special gift for someone, (you can check out some of his work in this category). At the moment Giles is working on an updated version of our brochure, which looks a whole lot more professional than the ones we do, (we literally cut & paste) so if you are wanting a flyer or poster designed, think of him.

You can email Giles at g.speeden@gmail.com or phone him  on 027 346 1148 ….now read on…