Making an Impression: Stamps!Monday, February 11, 2013
This year, one of my New Years Resolutions was to learn more. At the top of my list was to revisit something I did when I was quite little - stamp carving. I remember carving stamps out of potatoes (does anyone else remember this?!) and lino blocks. I remember the fun of stamping all over table cloths, and making stamp prints all over wrapping paper - and the fun of knowing that the design is all yours because you carved it. Just like that.
So when I read that Gennine D Zlatkis (one of my favourite bloggers) had released her first book Making an Impression, I pre-ordered my copy. I was beyond excited.
I'm delighted to tell you now that the book is fabulous. It's everything I wanted from it : a glorious collection of paper ephemera and eye-candy. I already know how to carve stamps, but this book goes beyond that to inspire you with new designs, new ways of stamping, and new ideas.
I also ordered some of the "proper stuff" for stamp carving - speedycarve rubber blocks. They took a month to arrive, but have finally come through the letter box this afternoon.
That's some really great timing: I've been whittling away at rubber blocks for a few weeks now, doodling designs onto erasers and other carve-able materials to practice.
There have been little bits of rubber all over the house.
I've discovered some stamp-making dos and don'ts too.
Don't carve towards yourself.
Your thumb is not a rubber block. Ow.
Do get lots of plasters.
Do spend a bit more to get sharper, more precise lino blades.
Do buy 50p giant erasers for carving practice before switching to the £10 carving blocks.
Do ink your block while carving - it's good to see what the impression is going to be like as you progress.
Don't panic if it doesn't work. It's ok. Try again.