Wednesday, October 30, 2019

creating with Jules: carved stamps

Carving your own stamps is easy when you get the hang of it and has a great result. It’s so fun to make something with readily available supplies and come up with something that has a professional looking result.

You’ll need:

-Stamp Carving Block (I use Renoir ezy carve printing block, but there are other brands that will work just as well)
-Lino cutting tool/s 
-Ink Pads in your chosen colors
-Grey lead
-Plain paper

Print out the template at 100%, place a plain piece of paper over the top and use a window or light box to trace the outlines of the designs in grey lead. Cut out each individual stamp design.

The easiest way I’ve found to transfer my designs onto a craving block is by placing the drawing face down and rubbing with the back of a spoon. The pressure transfers the pencil drawing onto the carving block. Make sure you rub all areas of the design, taking peeps as you go, being careful not to move the paper. Once transferred, you can use the greylead to go over any parts that might be a bit faint. 

Now it’s time to carve out your stamps! Remember, any part that you do not want to print you need to carve away, anything you do want to print needs to stay. Work carefully as if you accidentally carve out the wrong bit, you cannot fix it! If you’re new to stamp carving, practise on a piece before you begin carving your stamps. Try to carve away from the design elements (and yourself!) incase you accidentally slip. 

There are various brands of cutting tools. The speedball tool looks good although I have not personally tried it. I have a couple of old lino cutting tools that I use. I have a skinny one for detail and a wider one for removing larger areas of the block.

Once you think you’re happy with your design, test it! This is the fun part! press your stamp onto the stamp pad, making sure the whole design is inked up. 

Once you do a test print, you will see parts the stamp that still need to be cut away or refine. Carve and test again until you are happy with your design.

Then, get your paper and stamp the bottom corner with the designs using the photos as your guide. Stamp all around the edges making a border with the repeating ovals stamp. If the stamp is going to go over a part you don’t want it to, cover that part with a scrap of paper to protect it.

Now you have some pretty paper to write some good old fashioned snail mail!

Jules :)


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