Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Step Six: Stamp madness...
There are so many things I would like to share today that I don’t know where to start. Yesterday evening when I couldn’t think anymore about my papers, resumes, and deadlines I got this crazy urge to make a stamp. I was tired. However, I wasn’t ready to go to bed and my brain was swollen from all this reading, writing and thinking. I thought about other things I could do, instead of making a stamp, before going to bed but even reading a book felt too painful to me. The “stamp idea” was stubbornly flashing in my head until finally I decided to give it a try. If I want to be honest I need to admit that I have wanted to make a stamp for... years. And I never did. As I never did maaaany other things.
Anyway, yesterday I took out some tools and an artist carving block (which I brought from San Francisco only to find, one week later, that I can get them in my university bookstore he, he). I started... actually... I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I wasn’t sure which cutting tool to use first, I even didn’t draw anything. I thought that it would be OK to be spontaneous since I was sure that the first one will go to waste anyway. Besides, I wanted to learn something and to discover “stuff” on my own.
There was a sign on the carving block which stated “cuts like butter”. I quickly learned that this was true, which works as both an advantage and disadvantage (especially if you are a carving novice). It was very easy to carve but unfortunately it was even easier to destroy whatever I did if I didn’t pay enough attention to my hand. After I finished carving my first stamp ever I realized that I don’t have an ink pad. After searching for a while I found an old one which was gold (sic!) and dry (sic!). When I tried to use it anyway I rubbed away a piece of my stamp, yes it was that delicate, and yes it was a lesson I won’t forget ;) Since my old dry ink pad didn’t work I tried to use paint. Oh! my luck - it didn’t work either. The paint dried so quickly that I had a problem detaching my stamp from the piece of paper. In the end yesterday’s experiment was a disaster. I couldn’t even see how the stamp turned out since I was unable to print it on paper. I went to bed very disappointed, I wasn’t sure what I would do today.
I think that sitting still helped me because I got an idea. I imagined a nice square paper with nine divine coloured hearts beautifully printed and framed. I wanted to make these stamp hearts, at least six of them, each with a different patterns. However, I had no idea how to do this, I had only one piece of carving block and the worst thing was that I didn’t have any ink pads.
I started to carve, and I need to say that it was a very meditative process for me. Surprisingly, I was able to finish my project before picking up my son from the bus stop. It was very good timing. I could go to the store to buy some ink pads before lunch. The only problem was... I really didn’t like how my stamp looked, I couldn’t imagine if it will work, and I was honestly afraid that it would be another disaster. However, after applying ink on my carved block I couldn’t stop staring at it. It wasn’t a disaster at all!!!
As you see my Dear Fi, there was no “final” outcome, no nine divine hearts nicely framed in a square frame. However, there are a lot of ideas, and the satisfaction of trying something new and liking it. I think I’ve become enchanted by the art of stamp making. Also, I’m afraid that it might become my new addiction which wouldn’t be bad if the supplies weren’t that expensive!
:*SSS*: Special Sweet Somebody you know...
1. If you have never carved a stamp, please go visit Geninne's blog and watch her tutorial before even touching anything he, he.
2. Or, at least think before, with naive enthusiasm, starting your project. I mean, be sure that before you fit six or eight hearts on one carving block you will be able to divide them later to use them separately.
3. No matter what: don’t draw on your carving block! It really is soft like butter and I almost got a heart attack after touching the block with my pencil. Geninne has a better way of doing this. However, I was “above” transferring any drawing from paper to the carving block because I thought it would take me a lot more time than just drawing right on the block. Next time I won’t be. Besides, next time I will have this cute bone folder I couldn’t afford today after spending money on these beautiful and unfortunately rather expensive ink pads.