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Stamp Carving

around-world-Spain-editThe Bull ATC
by:  Cathy Peper, Editor

Basic Supplies:
Linoleum Cutter (Speedball)
Speedy Carve Block (Speedball)
Permanent Marker (Sharpie)
Glass Mat (EK Success)
Archival Jet Black Ink (Ranger)

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at stamp carving?  It doesn't take a lot of tools and it isn't as difficult as you might think.  I've only carved a handful of stamps, so I'm not an expert by any means, but if I can do it, you can, too.

I highly recommend using the speedy carve block (pink eraser-like material) since it's easy to cut.  The linoleum cutter comes with several different size blades.  Use the smaller blades for detail work and the large blades to take out bigger chunks of material.  Be careful to cut away from yourself for safety.

Choose a copyright free image to carve or draw your own.  If you draw it with pencil, it can easily be transferred to your block by placing the paper drawing side down on the black and rubbing on it.  Once you have the image transferred to your block, go over the lines with permanent marker.  Start with simple shapes at first.

When you're carving, remember that the material you take away will not print and what you leave, will print.  Here, I have started to carve the line around the image.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In this next picture, I've carved the outline and am beginning to carve out the background.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once I have most of the stamp carved, I ink it up and test it out.  Any areas that aren't carved out enough will show up on the stamped image.  They also show up black on the pink block, making it easy to see where you need to clean things up.  I find that even after cleaning up my stamp, I tend to have an imperfect, hand carved look and I'm fine with this.  However, you can continue to clean up your image until there are as few lines as you wish.  Here's my finished stamp:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made the ATC shown at the beginning of this post with this stamp.  Go ahead and give stamp carving a try.  I don't think you'll regret it.

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