Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Alternatives to Rubber Stamp Carving

On Black Friday, I treated myself to some discounted online workshops from North Light Shop, which carries products and classes for Cloth Paper Scissors.  Among the {ahem} eight downloads I purchased, was Playful Printmaking with Dina Wakley.

I've been putting her class instruction to use in my art room, finding some interesting alternatives to carving my own rubber stamps for making original prints on papers for my art journaling and collage creations.

Without giving away all of her workshop secrets, I wanted to share some of the new things that have found their way onto my work table.

First, I created some monoprinting tools by cutting shapes out of thick watercolor paper (Dina used tag board, otherwise known as manila file folder, but it didn't prove thick enough to make a good print for me so I opted for something thicker) and gluing them down onto pieces of tag board.
My experiment with tag board-on-tag board
My experiment with watercolor paper-on-tag board
By applying paint with a brayer, the tag board creates a kind of stamp for monoprinting onto art paper.
My first run was more about trying the technique than producing something I plan to use for a specific project.  Some of the papers were kind of pretty, though some were a bit of a hot mess.  I think I need to spend some more time looking at Dina Wakley's work to see how this style of printing works with her art journaling style.
Next, I tried using a pen to press designs into regular old foam, like I find in the kids' section at the craft store.  I found this technique a little more promising. I could use some of the same designs I've used when carving stamps into rubber, only this process is MUCH less labor intensive!
Both of these are designs I've carved into rubber before.
It sounds like these stamps should last for quite a little while, making impressions for months and even years to come (whereas the tag board stamps don't stand the test of time quite so well).
The main thing for me has just been getting back into my art room!  I'm not sure what causes the procrastination; what crazy person puts laundry and house cleaning ahead of art time?!?

At the risk of dooming my intentions to failure by making them into New Year's Resolutions, I'd like to see 2017 be a year of increased art-making, even if it's only an excuse to get my hands into their preferred state of paint-y and glue-y-ness!


Jewels said...

Great alternatives Andria - I've also "carved" into the Styrofoam trays that come with groceries (like meat) to do something similar to your foam stamps. For your first technique I used a not too thick cardboard instead which raises it a bit and is a little more durable... Like you I am always debating - groceries or art (who needs to eat after all lol)...We should do some more swaps this year :)

Claudia MB said...

I've experimented with using other material to make stamps, including small foam shapes. I cut them up and stuck them to cardboard sheets and ended up with geometric patterns. Some photos here:

They're thick, so they make good impressions and can be used over and over. I also use them to create texture in white gesso on art journal pages.

Carin Winkelman said...

Lovely experiments! Maybe you already own it, but you might like Traci Bunkers 'Print & Stamp Lab', it's full of all kinds of ideas for making prints and stamps from everyday materials.

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