When I blog about these projects or just post up pictures somewhere about my stamps, I get asked several questions about the process.
This post will hopefully inspire anyone curious about the process to Go For It! (it's so easy) and I'll also be able to refer to it in the future if someone would like to know how it's done.
Without further ado - the birth of a handcarved stamp.
1) I start with a search on the internet, or in magazines, for an image of what I'd like to carve - I use it as a general guide.
2) I gauge how big I want the stamp to be, and draw my cutting lines on the carving block (Speedycut was used here).
3) I use my way-nifty Speedball cutting multi-tipped tool to slice that sucker up.
4) I don't even have to cut all the way through - a deep enough cut will give me a clean break.
5) Then I sketch, generally in pencil, what I'd like to carve. I have to be careful not to create grooves or nicks in the block with the pencil tip, however.
6) I start carving by cutting around the picture with a larger tip.
7) Then I start carving out the details with a smaller tip.
Sometimes I take breaks...
9) But finally, I complete the stamp.
10) I mix up the color I want to use with Speedball ink and use a brayer to roll it across the stamp - I'm looking for anything that's picking up ink that shouldn't be.
11) I make a lot of prints, trying to get the balance of pressure and ink right.
For these more delicate designs, I think I need to pick up some ink-drying retarder - the sticky nature of the ink does not lend itself well to small lines.
Still, I'm happy!