Wednesday, February 2, 2011

carving little stamps

I've had a few people ask me about my little stamps.  They are so easy to carve and quite inexpensive; a great way to add a little bitty drawing to your work or stamp your own fabric. 
The fish was carved on a rectangular white eraser, while the others were carved on pieces of white Speedball carving medium. 

I draw on regular paper with a mechanical pencil as I find those transfer well.   Simply lay the drawing on the eraser pencil side down and rub with a spoon or bone folder to transfer the pencil marks to the eraser. Sometimes I draw on the eraser itself - remember that your stamped image will always be reversed. Good to remember for lettering of any kind.  ;)
Using a carving tool or an X-acto knife and taking care to carve only the eraser (not your fingers), carefully remove the lines or remove around the lines depending on which style of stamp you would like.  You don't have to cut very deeply to get a good stamp - these are approx. 1/16th inch.
I removed the background on the angel and fish.  The lines were carved out on the sugar skulls. I always brush them off with a soft brush to remove the eraser dust and small bits.
Now they are ready to use with a stamp pad or you can roll on acrylic paint or printer's ink with a brayer. 
I also like to brayer-roll acrylic paint onto a tempered glass palate in a thin layer and use that paint as a you would a stamp pad. Acrylic does dry quickly but I like to mix in fabric medium with the paint and use this method when I'm stamping on fabric.  The glass palatte washes right off and I clean my stamps with baby wipes. 
Nothing fancy and there are lots of other great printing techniques out there.  These are just the ones that I like to use on my inexpensive little stamps.