Monday, January 20, 2014

Dangerous curves ahead -- carving curvy stamps

carving curvy stamps
I continue to work my way through Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's book, Carve Stamp Play. I don't know why, but turning small slabs of rubber into tiny pieces of art is so much fun that I can't seem to stop.

But I did slow down when I hit the next set of carving workshops in Julie's book. These were more challenging. Like me, these stamps had lots of curves. Dangerous curves.

When I saw Julie's bracket frame stamp, I thought, oh, this should be easy. Maybe too easy? Should I even bother?
bracket frame stamp
Ah, how looks can deceive. It was very difficult to get those simple curves just right. Here's the evolution of my stamp, from first outline to finished impression.
bracket frame stamp in process
I tried to be careful, but I still gouged the edges and squared off some of the curves. 

For more practice, I turned to the next exercise -- a cursive word stamp. My word? "Claudia," of course. Do you know how hard it is to find pre-made "Claudia" stamps? "Brittany," "Ashley," sure, but never "Claudia." (Bitter much?)
curvy name stamp

curvy name stamp
A little better than the frame (if you ignore those vertical slices in the "d" and second "a.") 

The next stamp I tackled was the versatile "Thank You" stamp. I was excited to carve this one -- I'll never need to buy another thank-you card! Plus, lots of straight lines! The hardest part was making sure I carved only every other triangle. (After I took this photo, I marked the triangles to carve with green ink, per Julie's advice.)
Thank you stamp

Thank you stamp
I made a couple of cards out of the finished prints. I'm not crazy about the color combinations, but I'm happy with the way the stamp turned out after I cleaned it up. (Compare the white triangles below with those above.) And the fruits of my curve practice? The smooth "O" and "U." 
Card made using image from Thank you stamp
I forgot to take in-process photos of this next stamp. It's supposed to look like a woodcut, and I think it does. I experimented with adding a second "interlocking" stamp for the flower centers. Still have to work on my alignment.
wood-cut style stamp
On to more interlocking stamps!

2 comments:

  1. Your stamping adventures look great! I've got a box somewhere with linoleum tiles, rubber pads for carving and all the tools, would love to play with them again.......when I manufacture more hours in my day! Hmm, maybe make some shell stamps........

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  2. Shell stamps -- sound like curves ahead for you too!

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