Ladies and gentlemen! I'd like to introduce to you....
This is Stampin' Up's latest innovation, stamp carving! While it's not a new concept (just check out Albrecht Durer's work back in 1500) it hasn't been widely accessible outside the art classroom ... until NOW!
Here's what is inside the kit (item # 133402) - you get a thick linoleum block (that grey thing at the bottom left) mounting foam, 4 wood blocks, an Island Indigo Stampin' Write marker, and a "V" carving tool and a "U" carving tool, plus directions and cards to stamp. You can also get a refill kit that includes just the blocks, mounting foam and linoleum. (item #134808)
First, sketch out your stamp design on plain paper with a pencil, keep trying until you get it just the way you like. Using pencil is key here, because the next step...
...is where you transfer the graphite from the drawing to your linoleum by placing your drawing face down and rubbing firmly with the back of one of your tools, a bone folder, wood block... something firm but not scratchy.
Here is the transfer of my design on the linoleum block. I used Stampin' Up's old Craft and Rubber scissors to cut out near the edge of my design, and try to preserve as much of my block as possible for future stamps.
For the carving, start with the "V" tool and carefully outline ALL the inside and outside edges of your design. Be sure to keep your free hand BEHIND the cutting edge, these tools are EXTREMELY SHARP. Always cut away from yourself and away from your design. It is better to turn your block as you cut, rather than try to turn your hand to go around shapes.
.Using the "U" tool will carve out large areas that you don't want as part of the stamp - the "negative space". Always carve from the edge of the design outward. If you accidentally scratch into your design, there's no fixing that.
After carving everything the way you want, test your stamp on some scratch paper to make sure there's no errant ridges that will be transferring ink to your final printing. Once you've made all your tweaks, stamp the image on your wood block. Finally cut your mounting foam to fit your linoleum, and attach it to the block.
This was my first UNDEFINED stamp - I actually made this one at convention. They gave us each a block and a little linoleum to get started with, and had a station where we could carve our stamps. This design was inspired by a drawing of sliced through rocks that was the decor in a clothing store. Turning the stamp 90 degrees each time gave it just enough variation in the background.
Finished project! A 100% Creative Flare Card! Gives me a warm glow inside :). I finished off the card with a little Washi Tape from the Witches' Brew collection in the Holiday Mini Catalog. Washi tape is a great substitute for ribbon stripes on a card, is re-positionable and easy to use. It also works great to adhere a note inside a card - adds a colorful touch.
I would like to thank Ms. Joan Andre and Ms. Nell Landry for having taught block carving as part of their Junior High and High School Art curriculum. It's been fun!