On the hunt to find an ideal cutting block material for making stamps, I found this speedball brand (pictured above in pink) a few weeks ago. If you recall, I had bought a sheet from Dick Blick (Staedtler) and it was super soft. So soft, that I could cut it or nick it with my finger nails easily. Then I bought a sheet of linocut for printmaking from Hobby Lobby that was VERY hard and dense and didn’t take to ink pads very well. I wanted to find the middle ground and I think this is it. I’m not crazy about the color, but beggars can’t be choosers. “It’s not too hard, and it’s not too soft, it’s juuuuuust right” like goldilocks would say.
I carved this little audio cassette tape, and it came out so adorably. I was just kind of getting used to the new material, so I made a couple small mistakes, but they weren’t detrimental. Also, I used an Xacto carving set I found in my tool drawer. They worked perfectly.
I’m not sure yet what I should do with this stamp. I like how I was able to use the polaroid stamp for mailart a while back, so I might try something similar here. I’d also like to try something bigger, and testing the stamps out with fabric paint on fabric.
If you’ve never tried making handcarved stamps before, I’d love to encourage you to try it out. You can get going for under $20, which would include the tools, small cutting block material, and ink pad. You could start out by making a stamp of a little sketch you’ve done, or your initials, to mark on envelopes. It’s so much fun and so rewarding.
Before signing off, I wanted to share a few more stamp carving links that might inspire you.
Artist Geninne Zlatki makes wonderful stamps, you can see them here in her flickr set. Here’s a video she posted of how she carves a stamp. And if that wasn’t awesome enough, she is going to be publishing a book (released in 2012) about carving stamps. I am so excited for this to come out!
Here is a post on TalkCraftyToMe with introductions to material, and step by step instructions on making your stamp. Near the bottom of the post, there are more links with other handcarved stamp references.