Daily Paper Prompt #58: Hand-Carved Stamps!

Our guest for DPP #58 {fifty-eight, can you believe it?} is Gabriele, a journaling mixed media artist from Germany! I met Gabriele through the DY Facebook group, through her colorful contributions and warm comments.

 

Stamps! What a great tool! And there are so many ways to use them. As I started with Art Journaling about 1 year ago, I was overwhelmed by the enormous amount of art materials you can buy in the US for scrapping, card making and AJ. Some of the stamps were so great, I absolutely wanted to have them, because the artists works were so fantastic and I wanted to create pages like that also. For me it was not easy and very expensive (very high shipping costs from US) to get them. I made about 3 pages and 5 tags with my new wonderful stamps and then I realized, that my pages did not have the desired appearance, my tags looked all the same and most important of all: THAT WAS NOT ME. For a few prints it was perfect, but then it got boring. I realized, my pages started loosing their unique character. I would end up with something many other people have. This was not my intention.

How to solve that problem? I spent a long, long time searching the internet for alternatives to ready made stamps. I finally found some videos about artists making their own stamps and stencils. And they were so different in style and material, I knew this was it!!! A lot of work, but the chance of developing own ideas and patterns was worth it. I tried carving potatoes, which is a short time solution and a good practice, but not for longer use. I finally found some material called speedycut, which I use for more detailed and complicated stamps. I work on it with linocut tools.

But my favourite carving material is packing foam.

It comes in all kinds of colours and thicknesses and it is for free! Mine came with some loudspeakers, and is very easy to work with. I use a simple cutter, which you can get at the craft store for very little money, many of you will have it at home.

I like the rawness of these prints, the stamps are easy to use with acrylic paint, or ink, whatever you like. Due to its buffed surface, when using acrylics, the print is rich in texture, which is an attractive contrast to even backgrounds. And (very important) it takes only a very short time to carve them. When a stamp is damaged, you can easily make a new one or another one.

I use my stamps mostly with acrylic paint, often outline them with markers or pens in different colours. Here are some examples that show how many varieties you can have with a small amount of stamps.

 

For me the most important thing is: a self cut stamp is an individual piece of your own personal art and everything you create with it carries your personal mark. For me it makes a great difference, if I use stamps created by someone else or my very own. Give it a try. I am sure, you come up with many different patterns, you always wanted to have, but cannot find them ready made. Why always spend money on things, that are so easy to create? Thank you very much Tammy, for being such a wonderful host! Thank you very much, my fellow artists, for your stopping by and your interest! And now: free you Mojo and have fun!

There's an index to all of the Daily Paper Prompts.