Hand Carved Stamp :: a tutorial
Lately I am very into stamp carving, I went all around Sydney trying to buy all the tools I need for my stamp carving project! And finally today I’ve got everything that I need to get started I am just a beginner, but I want to show you how I did it. And if you know a better way of doing it, please do tell me!^^
I bought three types of carving blocks to try, in this tutorial, I used Renoir’s Ezy carve block (the white one on the right). It is very soft, its texture is similar to erasers. The Speedball carving block feels similar to the Ezy carve block, but I have yet to try it out. The grey piece up the top is lino, it feels quite hard, I would imagine it to be harder to carve.
I am using Speedball’s lino cutter to do the carving. I bought four different type of blades. If you don’t want to buy so many, the most important of all would be the V-shaped no. 1 blade, because it allows you to carve small details. However, it would be quite time-consuming carving large areas with such a small blade.
Now we’ve got all the tools ready – time to get started^0^
Firstly, draw your pattern on the carving block. I like frogs so I used a frog design – it’s from a fabric that I like. You can draw anything, but if it’s your first time, don’t make it too complicated. Also, remember not to press too hard while drawing on the block, it’s very soft so a pencil can scratch it quite easily. And then cut out the design from the carving block, a normal cutter will do here.
I used a very thin knife blade to begin tracing around the edge lines. This step is optional, you can jump straight into carving if you are confident enough.
It’s very important that you cut at an angle away from the edge. This helps the stamp to be sturdy and the stamp will last longer! And also, I think it is easier if you carve away from yourself.
After tracing, I switched to the V-shaped no. 1 blade to carve around the edge lines.
Switch to a large size blade to carve the areas away from the edge lines. I find the U-shaped no. 4 blade very good for this task.
It looks 90% done, it’s time to test the stamp with ink and paper!
Looks like the edges are a bit ragged. I would recommend that you test the stamp out earlier in the carving process (probably when it’s about 70% done), because the ink helps to see exactly how thick the edge lines are. I tested my stamp a bit too late, some lines are now too thin.
I tried to smooth out the ragged edge lines a bit. It’s time to test again!
I am very happy with my frog stamp^^
So that’s it, it’s done! Carving stamp wasn’t all that hard, I enjoyed the process very much. Next time I will try out the other two carving material and will let you know how I go with them. I bet you can’t wait to carve some stamps too!