Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hand-Carved Stamp

Happy Saturday fellow journeymen! (I use that term broadly, especially since most of my artist friends are women haha) How many of you have decided to join me on this 2013 art challenge adventure? I haven’t yet heard from anyone who has finished their first project, although I’m sure there are several of you who at least find the idea interesting, and are possibly making your own version. Don’t be shy my friends! Share your photos, or ideas, or inspirations - or all of the above! I love seeing what other people are creating!

Wow, three exclamation points in three sentences. I love how a simple mark can convey more emotion than I am capable of feeling most days [smile] One of the many blessings of the written word – being able to communicate in ways that are otherwise unattainable due to my autistic superpowers. I find that encouraging!

Since I don’t have anyone else’s art to share today, I will commence with the red deck (layer two) prompt for week two:

week 02 card

Although I won’t be posting the second prompt until Saturday (to give everyone who wants to join me a couple of days to work on the first one), I will be drawing the card as soon as I’m ready to incorporate it into my own project. Last week, that was Saturday; this week, it was Friday, and I must admit I was a little disheartened that it was “hand-carved stamp”. I had only a vague idea of what the “footprints” prompt would become, and this didn’t help very much!

To make this week's card, I took an ink blending foam pad (I use them with Tim Holtz Distress Inks) and cut out a puzzle piece shape. I recommend getting these, they’re great for many things. I’ll be writing about them (and other tools I use) in future posts; also, the foam pad applicator, refills, and inks are all available at Paper Pals in Pullman (and I would even be willing to purchase and send them to you for free if you paid me cost and shipping – I love Paper Pals!)

For my “footprints” page, however, I decided to go a different route. I drew the card Friday morning so I would have the work day to figure out what medium I wanted to use for carving; I also asked my friend Karen (owner of Paper Pals) if she had any ideas. It became clear through our discussion that it depends in large part on what design I’m wanting to carve. My first idea was a footprint, but that didn’t really fit with my inspiration for prompt one:

week 02 page

I’m sharing the background with you today, although I actually completed the entire page (other than the journaling) last night; I’m hoping to post a picture of the finished project tomorrow, but no later than Tuesday night. I drew my inspiration from the quote I shared Thursday in my post called I, Explorer, and the idea of “travel/journey/exploration” – a more abstract take on a footprint. Again, I’d love to see (and be able to share) what you’ve come up with!

Getting back to the hand-carved stamp, I considered a raw potato (but it wouldn’t last long, and I might want to re-use it in future), cardboard (not thick enough for my idea, though a possibility for certain shapes), and a larger sponge (too messy for me in this instance) before landing on Styrofoam. I have a few thin strips I salvaged from some electronic purchase from who knows when, and it turned out to be a great size for what I wanted.

There are dozens of great mediums to use when wanting to make your own stamps. If you have the money and inclination, you can even buy materials specially designed for such endeavors. To find out more, just type “how to hand carve a stamp” in any search engine and you'll find articles, blogs, videos, etc. (Isn't the internet great sometimes?!)

Of course, I don’t have either the money or the desire to do so right now, and in a lot of ways, using random found objects is more my style. Plus they can add some great textures, and as you get more comfortable with mixed media art, you’ll come to appreciate the great value in that. (Just as in fashion, it’s all about the layers my friends!) Other than what I mentioned as my own considerations, does anyone have some suggestions they’d like to share? Leave a comment and I’ll publish it!

Now that you have your second prompt, I will leave you to it; I hope inspiration will find you working on something today. Happy crafting friends!

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