"And now for something completely different......" After finishing the porch yesterday morning, I decided that it was time to take a break from minis. I will get back to it on Monday.
I have been reading the blog of an artist from Mexico City that I stumbled on a few days ago. One of her methods is carving her own stamps. I remember doing a crude form of this when I was in grade school long ago. I also remember it being lots of fun to do and pretty easy. Sooooo....
Yesterday morning I found some of the erasers that she uses for small stamps at Walmart in the stationery department. You know, with all of the pens and pencils. I can get in so much trouble in that department. I love new pens, pads of paper and pencils. Even erasers float my boat.
Anyway, these are the plain white erasers that come in a three pack for under two dollars. I already had the tools(You can get them online from Dick Blick or You can pay a lot more at your local Joanne's.)
While I am talking about this, I probably should send you to the website and the instructions just in case you want to try doing some yourself. The name is Geninne's Art Blog and the part about the stamps is http://blogdelanine.blogspot.com/search/label/handcarvedstampstutorial
These are the three tools that I used. The center one is a fine linoleum cutter and the other two are really wood cutting tools, but they work in a pinch.
First I drew out the designs the size that I wanted the stamps. In this case, they were about 1" x 3". I transferred them to the erasers and started with the fine tipped tool, gouging the outline. Then with the bigger tools, I took off the excess around the design. That is basically all there is to it. I did print them a couple of times to make sure that I got off all of the part that I didn't want to print.
By the way, you can also purchase larger format sheets for carving these blocks at the places listed above. In both cases they are cheaper on line. You do have to pay postage, but in the case of the sheets for carving you get two for the price of one over the price at Joanne's. And the lino cutters are much cheaper there too.
I found a set of colored ink pads from Walmart(Martha Stuart) because every ink pad that I own is dried up because of non use.
Here is the results of my labours. I cheated and carved both sides of the stamps.
The one at the top has not been carved on the second side yet. I made that one so that it could be used side by side to make a border on something.
The one with the flower can be printed in whatever color you want the flower. The other side of that stamp is the blue leaf stem that you see at the bottom of the photo. On a couple of the examples I went back in with a .005 Pigma pen and did some detailing.
The leaves in the center are the ones that I like the best. Those are all on one eraser so that I won't lose one of them if I want to use them together.
I don't think it took me much more than an hour to carve all of them and now I have a bunch of stamps that I can use over and over.
If you want to see how it's done right, go to the above website and watch the video at the bottom of the page. It is fun to just watch her carve. She makes it look so neat and easy. It is easy, but mine definitely doesn't look as neat.
Geninne does wonderful watercolors and other graphic work. I could look at her blog for hours....In fact, maybe I will do that right now.
See you tomorrow.