Lisa here :-)
I don't sit down to carve my own stamps very often, but when I do, I end up carving a BUNCH of them at a time. You know, when you get in the zone and start something and can't stop!
When I was at an art retreat in North Carolina this summer, we had a morning session of carving stamps. Lori Wostl, former design team member, brought a bunch of different carving materials for us to try. For the record, the Speedycarve by Speedball is still my favorite. It's tough enough to stand up to details without being crumbly or too soft.
Lori also brought a book, "Carve, Stamp, Play" by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. Oh my. What an awesome book full of all sorts of inspiration and lessons on how to make certain designs. Julie is quite the stamp carver and inspired me to try to make quarter and half stamps to pattern with. How about this one? This is my favorite!
Basically you carve a 1/4 design on a square and repeat the pattern to get a full design. To make the pattern match, you have to be very careful to make it symmetrical along that perpendicular edge so the designs will match. NEXT time I'll do a better job, but I really like the slightly crooked whimsical look of this one.
The next one I tried was a half-block design. Basically carve half a design, then mirror stamp to get a whole design. Again, it's a bit important to make sure your two sides are pretty symmetrical so they line up when you flip the stamp to press the mirror image. Make sense?
The next one I tried was a triangle design. You can pattern these in different ways to get different looks. Again, pretty important to get it somewhat symmetrical from side to side. Mine was a bit off, as you can see on the second picture. If I matched the center, the tips of my shape didn't match. Ooops.
I also loved carving some simple shapes to make borders, how easy was this one?
Or this triangle one. (Excuse the smudges, I dropped the stamp on the paper!) This one is actually harder than it looks. Keeping those points pointy was not easy!
I carved some leaf shapes, a small ferny leaf, and a half a sun. I had all these teeny tiny pieces of rubber left and I couldn't throw them away so I made a little heart and a little triangle.
Celia even got into it. She just starts carving and comes up with this little corner rose. I don't think she even drew it out first!
This is how they turned out:
A corner rose, a magic star wand and... can you guess what the center image is? It started out as a rain cloud. Someone suggested she put some swirlies inside of it to break up the solid black area. Now she says it looks like a brain. So this stamp has become...
wait for it...
A BRAIN STORM.
Hehe. See what I did there?
Well, I have to say that we had A LOT of fun carving stamps. If you want to try carving some, we have all the tools you need - Speedball Pink Rubber carving block in two sizes, and the Speedball carving tool with 5 blades. If you carve a few of your own, we'd love to see it and perhaps feature them on our Facebook page. Contact me at Lisa @ Artistcellar.com
Till next time, keep playing!
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