Bought some stencils …

… went the full ophthalmologist.

The stencils are aluminium, 2″ and 4″ size. I’d been doing some work with text and realised that, back in the day, I would have used Letraset rather than my own handwriting, which was only decent in primary school and now is barely legible.

The first is Payne’s grey on varnished cartridge; the second adds a scrape of silver acrylic across the surface to roughen the appearance (because I’m in new-kit playschool); and the third is what happens if you slide some Hooker’s green over the grey then add some off-key hot pink from Stuart Semple. With the right glasses, you could probably see that in 3D!

Key learning? First, those stencils are sharp so handle them carefully. Second, they’re light and quite bendy which makes them reasonably easy to use – I applied these upright, not flat, although flat might have been better. No dribbles though, and I like dribbles! Third, they’re washable – scrubable if you get to them a bit late – and I doubt the paper-based versions would survive that.

Tip – you’ll notice I didn’t use the whole alphabet. Primarily that’s because there wasn’t room, but oh my goodness am I glad of that because washing 20-odd pieces of sharp edged metal with more sharp edges inside the cut-out was quite a challenge. They’re from Stencil Marking.

Janet Lees

Filmic poet and photographer, Janet makes exquisite short videos, molten drops in an ocean of intense experience, some of them very raw indeed.

This stunning piece titled The Huntress has been “selected for the Zebra Poetry Festival in Berlin. The festival runs every two years and is the world’s premier event for poetry film. This year they had 2,000 submissions”. Travel with care, it’s for adults and it does contain words not appropriate for younger eyes.

I first came across Janet on Instagram where she is @janetlees2001; her work fits so well in my newly created dressing up box of things that glitter or thrum, thrash in fury, pause in shadows, or move like a silk scarf in a northern sirocco. These are things that bring peace, questions, and ideas when those capacities seem hidden in fog. That said, she does fog rather well too!

My dressing up box is a place of treasures and the absolute antithesis of Room 101.