I’m involved with some art journal groups this year. I haven’t kept up with the weekly prompts, but I am doing some of them and maybe I will catch up eventually. I see many of the artists in my groups using stamps in their work and I wanted to do some stamping too, but I also knew I wanted to make my own stamps so I figured I might as well learn how to do that for my art journal pages. I found a book on stamps to read up on the process. I bought some supplies. Then I started experimenting!
I bought some E-Z-Cut Printing Blocks and a couple of linoleum mounted blocks from Dick Blicks.
I drew a picture I wanted to carve, after reading some tips in this book: Stamp Carving 101: A Complete Guide on How to Make Your Own Custom Rubber Stamps. Then I got out my trusty Speedball Linoleum Cutter and got to work carving. I tried to keep the images simple because, to be frank, I didn’t really know what I was doing.
I wasn’t too happy with how hard the linoleum was to carve or with the way it printed. It was a lot of work and a lot of disappointment. I think it might work better with a smaller block, but I haven’t tried that yet so I don’t know for sure.
Next I tried the E-Z printing block. It was like a big floppy rubber eraser. It carved like butter. I had to be careful about not cutting off more than I meant too, but quickly adjusted my pressure and started enjoying the process. It was so easy to carve that my four year old was able to do it. What a joy to work with! I cut the tree out of the block using an x-acto knife and was able to use the extra pieces to make some smaller stamps too (see the bird in the above photo).
I liked the way the E-Z printing block printed better than the linoleum. The rubber was completely flat on the paper allowing the printing ink to stick to the paper and create a lovely print. It was so much easier to carve. I don’t think I’ll bother with the linoleum again. The only problem with the E-Z block was it can crumble which makes me wonder how long the stamps will last for.
I was really excited about how my tree stamp printed. I just ordered some ink pads so I can see how the rubbery stamps print using that kind of ink next. I’ll keep you posted on how printing with an ink pad comes out in comparison.
I have plans to create many more stamps so I will have plenty of experimenting to do.
I am using this tree stamp to create hand stamped cards for my customers. It’s been fun using different colors of printing ink to see how the tree comes out. I am looking forward to making more prints and using my original stamps to decorate shipping envelopes for my online sales. It’s a pretty easy and fun way to customize your packaging and to help you establish the often elusive “branding” that businesses are always trying to capture. It’s also just fun to send mail to your friends in really cool envelopes.
Have you done any stamping? Do you have a favorite stamp related art product? I am interested in trying new things to see what I like to use best. Your tips and insights would be extremely helpful!
*Links to Amazon are affiliate links.