Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Now cut that out!
It is GPP Street Team time once again. This month, Michelle Ward has given us a juicy assignment: make your own tools. As part one, the intrepid Crusaders were challenged to carve a rubber stamp. Did I say a rubber stamp? Little did I know!
I am not a total stranger to stamp carving. I remember too well the nasty linoleum carving incident in elementary school when poor Cindy Nelson managed to gouge her finger instead of the linoleum. The incident was so nasty that I avoided printmaking in high school because of it.
Fast forward to my days as a new mother of the babe who has become my towering bar mitzvah boy. During my stolen art moments, I tried stamp carving again with an eraser and an Exacto knife. The result caused less bloodshed but wasn't much more satisfactory.
Carefully reading Michelle's instructions, I figured I'd give it one more try. I'd point the carver away from myself and go slow. If the results were awkward, well, that would be a good thing, right? The other Crusaders were showing some truly wonderful stamps.
So what would I carve? I've really been into robins lately (ergo the half-baked poem below) so I went online and looked up some robin photos. As is typical of me, I got a little carried away with the intricacy of the birds.
I decided to simplify right on the rubber. I marked it with a Sharpie and began carving.
It took awhile to get it just right. Getting the eye to be round was particularly challenging. And attempts at making fine lines with an Exacto just made a mess. The gouging tools worked much better.
When I was through, there was a lot of rubber surrounding my birdie, so when I couldn't get it to gouge flat, I decided to trim. It only took 30 seconds of looking at the trimmings before I started drawing swirls. (I've been coveting everyone else's swirl stamps.) The swirls turned out so much cooler than I had anticipated. Emboldened, I immediately turned the other piece into Matisse-inspired seaweed.
I tried the swirls with paint and discovered they look even better linked. And turned sideways they'll make awesome waves!
And all this came from half of the rubber in the kit. I still have another half to carve a mate for ol' Robin -- maybe even one who is in proportion! And I haven't even begun to play with positives and negatives, quarter images, Art Nouveau botanicals or handwriting. . .
Thanks Michelle for another excellent Crusade! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more carving to do.