Thursday, August 11, 2022

Enter the Matrix with Seth Apter's Newest Collection!

These four new stencils are the first in my new Matrix series. While the movies may be the first thing to come to mind, that is not where this title comes from. A matrix is typically a group of numbers that are displayed in a fixed number of rows and columns. The symbols and marks in all of the stencils in this collection are all laid out that way as well. More broadly, a matrix is an environment in which something develops. For sure that is exactly what happens when you take a stencil and get to creating. And finally, a matrix is a term often used in printmaking to represent the surface from which an image is taken. Again, it sounds like you can apply this to stencils too.

Each of these four stencils can be used in full as is or broken up into sections. The design of these stencils allows you to truly make them your own. Synapse and Grate Full, the two 9 x 12-inch stencils, are large enough so that when used in full, you can create an abstract pattern that can become the focal point of your work. Individual segments can also be used on their own for smaller pieces. Individual rows or columns can become borders. The size of even a single symbol is large enough to become a container or frame for a word, making them well suited for journaling. 


The design of Gridlock, the medium stencil at 6 x 6 inches, enables you to accomplish all the ideas referenced above - but on a smaller scale. It also calls out to be used as a non-traditional swatching stencil, with different shades of mediums in each box and just enough room in between for a small, handwritten label. And how cool would it be to use the entire stencil and write a letter in each square, spelling out a phrase or personal message?


The small scale of Etched, 4 x 4 inches, enables you to use these abstract symbols in smaller works such as ATCs and pocket journals. For larger surfaces, you can use the stencil over and over again, side by side, to fill the space. Turning the stencil 90 degrees for each reuse guarantees a more varied and random result.

Seth's designs are available now at

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