Linoleum Reproduction Project
It seemed complicated, but not that complicated. We recreated this fabulous linoleum pattern, found preserved in the dumbwaiter, for Portland couple Sig and Jack, who just completed a kitchen renovation. Twelve stencils and countless hours of head scratching later, we are done.
Here is a photo of the original scrap:
The challenge here was that the flower pattern is random, yet where flowers cross other elements of the design, those elements need to be blank, therefore the placement of the random flowers must be very carefully planned. A four petal white flower is only partial on the right side. That flower had to be extrapolated from other elements that we had. Since there were probably no repeated flowers in the original piece, we wanted to avoid making the floorcloth with four equal quadrants which looked just like the remnant. To accomplish that, two of the stencils were flipped over for two placements and that flipped the flowers. Sadly, this also flipped sides for the orange and black lines in the vertical direction. Since they no longer lined up, they had to be taped out and then added last using yet another set of custom stencils. This was by far the most mind bending piece that we have done to date. Just look at this remnant and try to decipher the formula for where each rectangle is located in the quadrant of it’s square and try to extrapolate where the next would be found in the missing portion.
This was also one of the most stencil intensive designs we’ve made, ultimately requiring twelve stencils and a whole lot of mylar.
This shows the creation of the first stencil, for production of the yellow lines:
We thought that the stencil creation was the main challenge, and that the stenciling itself would be relatively quick. We were wrong. Here is a shot of the the second stencil pass:
Here is the fifth stencil pass:
We were not able to use a single stock color, as the palette, like the rest of the design, is truly unique. Here is a photo of the remnant laying on the floorcloth:
And here are a few shots of the floorcloth in the kitchen (note the O’Keefe and Merritt stove - they dont make them like they used to.)
Sig and Jack were so pleased with this floorcloth that they ordered a second one for the pantry, just off of the kitchen. It pays homage to this design, using larger versions of the flowers in a less complex field.