Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eraser stamp tutorial - Part 3

Here is the third post in the eraser stamp carving tutorial. I am not an expert on this subject, but hopefully my trials and errors will help you get off to a good start. I've broken things down into the following bites:

1: carving medium, i.e. erasers etc.
the tools you need to carve your stamps.
3: methods of transferring your design to the medium for carving.
4: inks.
5: carving.

There are several methods of transferring your chosen image to the eraser/medium. But nomatter which method you use, remember that what you carve into the eraser will be reversed when you stamp your little heart out. This is especially important to keep in mind if you're making numbers or letters.

The simplest way to get an image onto the eraser is to draw it straight onto it. If you are using a gel pen you can even check your stamp before cutting anything if you try stamping the eraser before the ink dries. Like in the picture above.

Drawing (freehand) like that may not be for everyone; there may be details in your design that it's not so easy to copy without 'help' or you don't feel you can draw (this is, of course, not true, but it would take too long to explain here why you can draw even if you think you can't).

What you can do, then, is transfer the image using a (soft! B4 or softer) pencil, a scrap of paper and a pen. Trace around your eraser and draw in the area with the pencil until it is completely covered. Then cut out your little square.

Place it on top of your eraser with pencil side down. Draw your design on the blank paper (or trace a drawing or a word or whatever).

Depending on how much pressure you apply, and how good you are at not getting a lot of pencil smudge all over your eraser - I am not so good at this part as you can tell! - you will now have a fairly good image that you can carve. If you are a bit messy, like me, it may be necessary to loosely draw over the design with a pen. This also helps prevents smudging the lines of the design while cutting the stamp.

My favourite method of transferring the design to the eraser (or other carving medium) is sort of a further development of the above pencil one. It is less messy and a bit more colourful! I use (Saral) transfer paper which comes in several different colours. I usually use the red one.

Using some kind of translucent paper, draw your design on the paper, then turn over the paper as in the picture above. The design is now reversed so it will come out the right way when you use the stamp. Place the transfer paper on the eraser with the coloured side facing down, place your paper on top and trace the lines of your design. Be careful not to move the papers while drawing.

Once you've traced your whole drawing, remove papers and you are ready to carve your stamp.

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