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13 Aug 2014

Make & Do: Handprinted Stationery

Work in Progress. Image made using - Studio
Making something takes me to my happy place.
People often talk about the rush of endorphins they get from doing things that make them happy, well making stuff does that for me. After a day of writing at the computer, sometimes all I need to do is get out my pens, watercolours, and a notebook and just doodle.

However, there are days when I want to actually make something tangible. I am by no means a professional arts & crafter, and a lot of what I do is trial and error, and often looks like a 6-year old made it (no offence 6 year olds) but it is the process of 'making' that I find most pleasing.

About a month ago now, I decided I wanted to make some stationery so that I could write some letters, you know - taking communication back to the old-school. So, I got out my tools and did just that...

I decided I was going to handcarve a rubber stamp and print a design on to some paper. The tools I needed were:
- Speedball Lino Cutter  - I've got set no.1 which I bought in London.
- Pencil
- Ruler
- Cutting mat
- Good quality eraser or rubber carving block
- Inks

I wanted to keep the design simple, so instead of faffing around with rubber carving block, I just used a good ol' eraser. It was the perfect size. I opted for a pattern that would be easy to carve and easy to do a repeat pattern with. The answer:  a chevron. Absolutely no drawing skills required, just a few lines measured out. All I needed to do now was choose the right size cutter and I was ready to carve.

One of the reasons I like the Speedball is that the handle is also the place you store the cutters when they're not in use - easy and compact. Anyway, it took me 10 minutes to carve out the ridiculously easy design and then it was time for printing.

The inks pictured above (bought from JCCAC art shop) ended up not being the inks I used. I went for solids instead. The inks I used were just regular pigment inks that I bought from Cass Arts. The printing process took longer than the carving process, but there was something kind of theraputic in the repetitiveness of it all.


The end result
I was quite pleased with how these turned out. I printed one colour and when I was finished I just rinsed off the stamp and printed with the next colour. As you can see the stamp is now a lovely shade of greeny-brown after being used to print all three colours, but I'll still be able to use it again.

That was a nice and quick afternoon project which only took me a month to blog about. Next step, actually writing and sending the letters.

If you're interested in carving your own rubber stamps, check out YouTube for a plethora of tutorials, that's where I learnt from.

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