Friday, March 19, 2010

Carving my Own Stamps

For a while now, I've been looking into printmaking.  After reading a few books on the subject (thanks to my wonderful public library system), I took the plunge a few weeks ago and made my first stamps.

They're a little rough looking, yes?
They work really well considering they're made out of cardboard and fun foam.  All you do is draw a design onto the foam, then cut it out (with regular old craft scissors, or a craft knife...but why risk dismemberment?  Use the scissors.)  Then if you were supa smart, you bought pre-stickyized fun foam, and all you have to do is peel off the backing.  If not, you can use glue to stick those bad boys to the cardboard. 

Get out your fabric paints and use a foam brush to put some paint on them and...

Maybe you'll be smarter about your color selection on the paints than I was. 

I'm getting there...

I picked up some carving tools and blocks at Jerry's Artarama in Tempe, AZ.  And can I put a plug in for that store right now?!  Their prices are fantastic. 

(side note and another plug: there's a great little ethnic food store in the same shopping center.  The woman working there when we popped in said she was Somalian.  And we think she caters.  AND! they have beautiful floor length skirts for sale too...)

Printmaking.  Right.  I bought some supplies from Jerry's, and my mom graciously provided some as well.

These are the results:

That was my very first attempt at carving a stamp.  I free hand drew the design and just started cutting.   I used colored pencils to make it pretty after I'd stamped it.

And here's attempt two...I carved a large art eraser this time...I love the red and yellow colors on the finished product.

In conclusion:
1. I've already sliced my finger with the carving tools--but only ONCE! (which, for most workplaces is ONE TIME TOO MANY.  But not here.  This workplace is forgiving.)

2. I don't have enough things to carve--fun foam may have to be my method of choice because it's cheaper than carving blocks...but blocks are so much more fulfilling.  And dangerous (see 1).

3. My crap craft room is in the middle of spring pseudo cleaning (aka I can't/won't/don't know how to to put everything away).  Therefore, the floor is relatively inaccessible...maybe a good thing since I still need to vacuum up that broken glass in the corner....  so I'm not in a good position to produce more stamps and carvings right now.

That means you should be looking forward to some PICTURES instead.  (because my laptop can travel out of the craft room into wide open (and clean) spaces).  

hasta luego amigos!  Let me know what you think about the stamps. Are you going to try it too?


Emilee said...

i love it! and i am going to try it.

jamila said...

I love it! I wish I could come and take up residence in your craft room - which can't be messier than my bedroom normally is. Then I could watch your adventures and take part from time to time whenever my anti-craft attitude would erode enough to permit me to. If it's already messy in there, maybe you wouldn't notice me too much - I don't think I would require too much upkeep. Way cool, Lu!