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. 

17 comments:

michelle ward said...

JeriAnn - I forgot you only have a scanner to show us your stuff - lucky us since we got to see how your carvings look stamped out. These are terrific! A way better experience than the jr. high tough stuff. And you have your very own artist made tools. Yay!! Thanks for sharing with the team. Oh, and I love that you are hoarding even the smallest of the excess...leaves, squares, dots.....the possibilities are endless.

Stephanie said...

These are wonderful! I love seeing the progression of your bird! I just had my first cutting mishap, I was trying to cut off excess so I could cut more, smaller stamps and sliced right through my finger....YIKES!!!

Kel said...

Oh my goodness, these are SO cool! I just love the bird. I want a bird image of my own, but it isn't going well. I've been loving the swirls too so I may follow your lead and jump in. (I had 2 6x4 and a 12x6 inch piece of the foam in the mail today, woohoo)

belle2create said...

Hi JeriAnn,
Great to see the bird evolving!! Yes, I really think we should tell Michelle to put a warning with this crusade "Addictive". Because I think you got infected too, GRIN!! (well there are WORSE addictions, not??)
Hedwig

DymphieM said...

Owww I love your bird, it's so cool to see the progress while you were carving.
Wonderful swirl and leaves too, all your three images are on my list to try myself :)

Jodi Barone said...

Jeri Ann,
Your robin, your swirls and your Matisse inspired sea weed are incredible. Don't stop carving, your uncovering all sorts of magic in that square of rubber. Half of it was still left after this post? You are resourceful. Let me know if you come up with something to do with all of the littlest shavings, I (collage crazy)do not even like throwing them out!

LostLuggage said...

These are so GREAT!! I love your seaweed stamp- if you didn't say so, I would think that Matisse made that himself!

ArtKat said...

All the stamps you carved are wonderful, and thanks for showing us the process through your scans! :)

Kim Tedrow said...

Love that bird, it has some personality. And the matisse-inspired stamp is cool too. Well done and well told. -Kim

Julie said...

Yes, great to see your progression through this project! I think your bird is terrific and such a lovely size too! Me think I will have to go buy some more lino and give a bird a try!

Thanks for sharing

Kimbo said...

Hi JeriAnn, Wow ! It is kind of strange that we both have such similar shapes and inspiration for our stamps ! Shows how we are all connected somehow, doesn't it? The birds and the tropical feel probably come from being so sun deprived after this long long long New England winter ! I am working on putting my new carved stamps to use !Thanks for connecting !

PocketSize said...

What fabulous stamps! I'm glad we get to see your whole process, and how your robin got more and more detailed :) I had trouble with the knife blade too, so I stick with the gouging tools as well.

Also, thank you for your comment on my blog. The St. John's Bible really is incredible, isn't it?

Ursula Clamer said...

Well done for taking the plunge and conquering the bad past experiences. Your stamps are great! and the swirls do look good on their own and linked! how versatile. Happy Carving!

Chris said...

WOW. Watching this process was really fun. Thank you for sharing it all!

audrey h. said...

These are great. I love the bird you made and the details on it's feathers. It turned out awesome :)

carin.c said...

That robin came out great... and I love what you did with the scraps even more! Especially those swirls, which definitely would make great waves when linked together! I feel a journal page on the ocean in the making... oh I can't wait for summer trips to the shore (or "down the shore" as we say in NJ!)

ladylulu said...

There are great. I love how you took us through the process.