Back in days of yore, when I was a wee one, one of the methods of reproducing a page involved a thermofax machine. Teachers used them to make transparencies or blackened copies. The invention of the plain paper copier was a big advance, if copies are what you want made.
The thermofax has found a new life with artists, though, both of the fiber and of the tattoo variety. We use them to make stencils that can then be printed with--a version of silk screening. So the old machines (nobody makes them any more) have become rare and expensive. Not necessarily something an individual like moi wants to own. I'd rather use someone else's.
At Jane Dunnewold's workshop last year at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center, this subject came up. One thing led to another, and soon a fund was created for the purpose of buying a thermofax for FL. Several hundred dollars later, and thanks to the aggressive bidding skills of one of the artists' husbands, FL now has a machine in perfect working order. They are offering to make stencils from your images at reasonable prices.
And on Saturday last, Susan Infante (an excellent art cloth and art clothes maker who doesn't have a website) led an introductory workshop. Very fun. I tested the limits of what would and would not work, and came home with a pile of stencils to play with:
Here's some test prints (not necessarily great prints):
And a blurry picture of a print that pushed the limits on detail:
So another notch on the tool box, something else to play with. Progress in being able to grasp what I reach for is being made.