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Friday, May 22, 2009

Eraser stamp tutorial - Part 5

Here is the fifth post in the eraser stamp carving tutorial. I am not an expert on this subject, but hopefully my trials and errors will help you get off to a good start. I've broken things down into the following bites:

1: carving medium, i.e. erasers etc.
2: the tools you need to carve your stamps.
3: methods of transferring your design to the medium for carving.
4: inks.
5: carving.

It's finally time to carve your stamp! You've got your lino cutter and an eraser with a design on it. It is quite easy to carve a stamp. And if you much it up? It's just an eraser, chuck it in the bin and try again!

Right, start off by deciding (if you haven't already) what part of the stamp will show up coloured and what will be white/not coloured. Then cut around the design so you know where the edge of your stamp is. Use the smallest blade for this.

If you can, it is best to make the carving in as few cuts as possible to avoid 'seams' in the lines which may make the cuts look 'jagged'. Note how I cut around each petal in one go. Oh and feel free to add stuff to (or rather cut away from) your stamp, like I've done in this example.

When possible, use a larger blade to carve so you can cut away larger chunks at a time, saving time. When cutting, cut away from the lines to avoid ruining the stamp if your knife slips.

Before you start carving the 'fluff' around the stamp, have a look at it and see if maybe some of it can simply be cut off, like in the picture above. You are often able to cut off corners like this. To, literally cut corners and not have to carve so much. Also, this way the back of your stamp is more similar in size to your actual stamp which makes it easier to align if you're doing repeats of the same stamp or with other stamps.

When you think your stamp is done, do a test to make sure you haven't missed anything. Or maybe there are tiny bits you want to change. Notice how there is ink on the eraser outside of the actual stamp? If it doesn't show up when you stamp it, don't worry about it. But if you are going to stamp on fabric it is probably a good idea to remove as much of this as you can because the stamp will 'sink' deeper into the fabric.

Now your stamp is done, have fun playing with it! Experiment with different inks (if available) and surfaces. Make patterns. Use it as a temporary 'tattoo'. Seriously, if you don't stamp on yourself by accident, do it on purpose! ;-)

Now, here's one I made earlier: have some ice cream!


I hope this series of stamp tutorials was useful to you. And I hope you'll share some pictures of your stamps!

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scribbled by Carina 5/22/2009 04:09:00 PM


Please note: as of December 2009 this blog has moved to carinascraftblog.wardi.dk, and commenting has been disabled on this version of the blog. If you would like to leave a comment please follow the link and use the archive or label links to find the post in its new place. Also, if you have followed a link or bookmark to this post, please update it as this 'old' version may not stay live forever. Thank you.






Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eraser stamp tutorial - Part 4

Here is the fourth post in the eraser stamp carving tutorial. I would not call myself an expert on this subject, but hopefully what I've learnt will help you get off to a good start. I've broken things down into the following bites:

1: carving medium, i.e. erasers etc.
2: the tools you need to carve your stamps.
3: methods of transferring your design to the medium for carving.
4: inks.
5: carving.

There are many, many brands and types of inks you can use with your stamps. What ink you want to use depends entirely on what you are going to stamp on and the size of your stamp.

Generally, ink pads are the size of the ones in the picture above. The small square ones are approx. 2.5 x 2.5cm (1" x 1") and the large one is 7.5 x 4.5cm (3"x 1.75"). But even if your stampis larger than the ink pad you have to hand, you will still be able to ink it up - as long as the ink pad is raised!

Some ink pads are multicoloured or have glitter in them. There are even some that are fluorescent.

The main difference to bear in mind with the ink pads is that some of them are only for use on paper but others can be used on a number of surfaces, like wood or fabric (and paper). So if you know that you will be using your stamps on fabric it might be an idea to get the kind that is suitable for fabric from the start.

If you do stamp on fabric remember that your will probably need to set it so it won't run when washed. This is usually done in the oven on low heat or by ironing the stamped area. Your ink pad should come with instructions for doing this (please check these before you start 'cooking' your fabric!).

If you want to make larger stamps/carvings which are no longer easily covered with (even) the raised pads, you will need to get your hands on a roller (sometimes called a brayer) and some proper ink in a tube (or a tub). But that is a whole different topic, which I won't go more into here.

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scribbled by Carina 5/21/2009 06:23:00 PM


Please note: as of December 2009 this blog has moved to carinascraftblog.wardi.dk, and commenting has been disabled on this version of the blog. If you would like to leave a comment please follow the link and use the archive or label links to find the post in its new place. Also, if you have followed a link or bookmark to this post, please update it as this 'old' version may not stay live forever. Thank you.






Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eraser stamp tutorial - Part 3


Here is the third post in the eraser stamp carving tutorial. I am not an expert on this subject, but hopefully my trials and errors will help you get off to a good start. I've broken things down into the following bites:

1: carving medium, i.e. erasers etc.
2:
the tools you need to carve your stamps.
3: methods of transferring your design to the medium for carving.
4: inks.
5: carving.


There are several methods of transferring your chosen image to the eraser/medium. But nomatter which method you use, remember that what you carve into the eraser will be reversed when you stamp your little heart out. This is especially important to keep in mind if you're making numbers or letters.

The simplest way to get an image onto the eraser is to draw it straight onto it. If you are using a gel pen you can even check your stamp before cutting anything if you try stamping the eraser before the ink dries. Like in the picture above.

Drawing (freehand) like that may not be for everyone; there may be details in your design that it's not so easy to copy without 'help' or you don't feel you can draw (this is, of course, not true, but it would take too long to explain here why you can draw even if you think you can't).

What you can do, then, is transfer the image using a (soft! B4 or softer) pencil, a scrap of paper and a pen. Trace around your eraser and draw in the area with the pencil until it is completely covered. Then cut out your little square.

Place it on top of your eraser with pencil side down. Draw your design on the blank paper (or trace a drawing or a word or whatever).

Depending on how much pressure you apply, and how good you are at not getting a lot of pencil smudge all over your eraser - I am not so good at this part as you can tell! - you will now have a fairly good image that you can carve. If you are a bit messy, like me, it may be necessary to loosely draw over the design with a pen. This also helps prevents smudging the lines of the design while cutting the stamp.

My favourite method of transferring the design to the eraser (or other carving medium) is sort of a further development of the above pencil one. It is less messy and a bit more colourful! I use (Saral) transfer paper which comes in several different colours. I usually use the red one.

Using some kind of translucent paper, draw your design on the paper, then turn over the paper as in the picture above. The design is now reversed so it will come out the right way when you use the stamp. Place the transfer paper on the eraser with the coloured side facing down, place your paper on top and trace the lines of your design. Be careful not to move the papers while drawing.

Once you've traced your whole drawing, remove papers and you are ready to carve your stamp.

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scribbled by Carina 5/20/2009 04:02:00 PM


Please note: as of December 2009 this blog has moved to carinascraftblog.wardi.dk, and commenting has been disabled on this version of the blog. If you would like to leave a comment please follow the link and use the archive or label links to find the post in its new place. Also, if you have followed a link or bookmark to this post, please update it as this 'old' version may not stay live forever. Thank you.






Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Eraser stamp tutorial - Part 2

Here is the second post in the eraser stamp carving tutorial. I am not an expert on this subject, but hopefully my trials and errors will help you get off to a good start. I've broken things down into the following bites:

To start with, you can easily use an x-acto knife (or similar sharp knife). It is great for making stamps with all straight lines and stamps that haven't got too many fine details. But I am fairly certain that soon you will start to get ambitious and all straight lines just won't cut it anymore (ha ha, cheesy pun) - ya wanna make spirals and flowers and letters and all sortos of other curvy and delicate things.

This is when you want to get your hands on a lino cutter (as the name suggests, it can also be used for cutting linoleum - you probably had a go at this in school?) You usually buy them in a set consisting of a handle with a number of blades that you can change depending on what kind of line you need to cut.

I am lucky to have the lino cutter (the one on the right) my mum got when she was a (little) girl, but unfortunately, the wooden handle is worn and doesn't hold the blades properly. But the blades are the perfect sizes for making my stamps.
In fact, the blades in the new set are quite a bit larger than the old ones. Notice the difference between these two blades, they are the smalles in the new (left) and old (right) set. Quite a difference! So you want to make sure that your lino cutter set has atleast one blade that can make very delicate details. You won't really need anything too wide. And it is easier to cut a wide area with a skinny blade than a fine detail with a broad blade.
Another note on the blades (and hence the cutter as well, I suppose) if you are hooked on making your own stamps and know that this is something you are going to enjoy, please (please!) do yourself a favour and get a decent set. I bought my new set cheap on eBay and that was a mistake because the blades are not very good.

You can probably tell that there are a couple of nicks in the middle one in the picture above. From cutting the soft rubber of an eraser; not very good. (Luckily, I really only needed the handle.) Speedball and Staedtler Mastercarve both make lino cutters and I would encourage you get one of those (or other quality brands). Yes, they will be more expensive, but it is worth it.


So, your main cutting / carving tools: a lino cutter and an x-acto knife. A self-healing mat is also a good idea so you don't cut into your table.

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scribbled by Carina 5/19/2009 04:10:00 PM


Please note: as of December 2009 this blog has moved to carinascraftblog.wardi.dk, and commenting has been disabled on this version of the blog. If you would like to leave a comment please follow the link and use the archive or label links to find the post in its new place. Also, if you have followed a link or bookmark to this post, please update it as this 'old' version may not stay live forever. Thank you.






Monday, May 18, 2009

Eraser stamp tutorial - Part 1

As promised here is the eraser stamp carving tutorial. Or rather the first part. I wouldn't call myself an expert on this subject, but hopefully my trials and errors will help you get off to a good start. I've divided it into 5 parts so I can tell you all that I know without having the post being longer than most people's arm! ;-)

I've broken things down into the following bites:

Right, let's get started!

It is called eraser stamps because you cut them from erasers (to start with, anyway!) And most erasers work for this purpose. Although, you should stay clear of erasers that are too stiff or grainy. The best ones are smooth and rubbery - you can bend them without them breaking. Like in the picture below. Fortunately, erasers are fairly cheap so you can afford to experiment!

Pound shops (dollar stores) are a great place to get cheap erasers. But beware that one day they might stop selling that perfect eraser (this has happened to me a couple of times!) - so if you find a favourite, get plenty while you can!

Erasers are fine as long as your stamps are small enough to fit one them. But one day you will wake up wanting to make a stamp that is, say, 5x5 cm and that just won't fit on (most) erasers! What do you do then?

Luckily, there are a few companies that make 'slabs' of cutting media. These are some of them: Speedball, Staedtler Mastercarve and PZ Kut.

Other than the erasers, I have only tried the Speedy-Carve from Speedball (the bubble-gum pink one, they have a white variety but apparently it isn't as good). It comes in blocks of different sizes that you can (obviously) cut into smaller bits according to the size of your stamp. Speedy-Carve is a little bit on the thin side, so you may need to mount it, i.e. glue it to a wooden or acrylic block.

If you can, do experiment with different brands, you may prefer one over the others.

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scribbled by Carina 5/18/2009 04:08:00 PM


Please note: as of December 2009 this blog has moved to carinascraftblog.wardi.dk, and commenting has been disabled on this version of the blog. If you would like to leave a comment please follow the link and use the archive or label links to find the post in its new place. Also, if you have followed a link or bookmark to this post, please update it as this 'old' version may not stay live forever. Thank you.






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