September 01, 2008

AU 2008 Recap Part 2

Tuesday night I took a class with Traci Bunkers called Printing Blocks MacGyver Style. (She has a really distinctive style; see some of her artwork here, on Flickr.) Basically, the premise of the class was that you can use lots of things, not just traditional rubber stamps, to print with… and did she mean LOTS of things! Some of these things I had thought of or used before, like bubble wrap and sequin waste, but she had tons of things spread out on the table:

Pieces of broom handle, pieces of plastic grid, flip flops, plastic trays from birth control pills, chenille pipe cleaners, etc. All those things can be used for printing?!? Yup, if your imagination is big enough, they sure can be!

She had fun foam cut and glued/taped onto foam core board to make pattern stamps, lace doilies, lots of foam objects that you can heat with a heat gun and impress with patterns (including flip flops- apparently they have patterned soles, if you look at them... ?!? I never would have thought of that!!), things to use as stencils, including the plastic trays from birth control pills… pretty much anything that you can get paint or ink on can be used as a stamp…

Traci said one of her favorite places to shop for things is the dollar store, where she finds all sorts of things for printing! (and one of her favorite aisles to shop IN is the foot care aisle: think corn pads, bunion pads, and moleskin, all adhesive foam shapes originally designed to help out your feet, but in the right hands, they can be used to help out your journal pages or art projects!)

This pic is of her roller stamps, made from a chopped-up broom handle; the top one is wrapped with rubber bands, the bottom one is wrapped with wire. Both have nails in, for handles... I definitely need to try this one! I don’t think Tom would appreciate me hacking up the broom handle, so I guess I’ll go to Home Depot and get a new one (theoretically, they can cut it for me at the store, too... hopefully they won't ask too many questions about what I'm doing with it.)

This is another idea she had that I will definitely try… these foam craft stamps are pretty cheap at the craft store, but they can be kind of boring when you actually use them for stamping. Traci’s idea is to heat them with a heat gun so they get soft, then impress them with a pattern of some sort- you can use another rubber stamp, or anything with a texture. Once it cools, the pattern impression stays, until you re-heat it again. You can buy re-heatable foam at the craft store, but apparently LOTS of (less expensive) things will do this, if you know what materials to pick... including the flip flops!

She also showed us how to do stamp carving; she carves her own really cool stamps out of rubber carving material and also regular old erasers (which she also finds at the dollar store… I definitely need to hang out more at the dollar store!!)... if you can't find the stamp design you want, then you can just carve your own! I carved one in class, and one more since then… I have always wanted to learn this, and it's something I will do more of, that’s for sure.

The pic above is some of the items she gave us that can be used to make patterns for stamping-

Top, L to R: my first carved rubber stamp; an earplug (the kind you use on a crowded airplane); a pencil eraser; one of those things you put on a pencil to protect your finger; a moldable foam craft-store "marshmallow" turned into a stamp.

Middle, L to R: a corn pad; moldable foam impressed with the end of a thread spool; my second hand-carved stamp.

Bottom: carving tool and eraser; pencil (which can be used to draw your designs for carving, and you can use the eraser for making dots- it's always good to have multi-use materials!)

Some of my foam-core and fun-foam stamps... I made mostly patterns, so far... the small one is bits and pieces left over from making the triangle pattern, and looks a lot like bricks when it's used. And the rubber band stamp makes a really cool texture!

This pic shows some of the impressions I made from the odd-ball sorts of items... I really like the oval design the corn pad makes, and the pencil eraser can make some really cool patterns! This class, like the first one I took, was all about thinking about things in different ways and being imaginative with your supplies. It was definitely lots of fun, and useful information!!


pauseability said...

This look like so much fun. I have always wanted to try carving my own rubber stamps out of erasers but didn't know what tools and how best to fix the erasers while carving them. Thanks for sharing. It has certainly given me many ideas.

Came to your blog via flickr.

C K said...

Thanks for sharing your experience at AU! The stamp information intrigues me. I have made stamps in the past, and have purchased a few lino blocks to start carving again. Your story and pictures totally inspired me to get with it. How great that you tried something new and you like it!

C K said...

Sorry, I changed some Blogger settings and now my profile doesn't work. It's Charlene.

gypsy said...

Fantastic ideas that I have to try... I've used wine corks rolled in gesso to make funky textures or to make circles. I'm enjoying your blog so much!

crimsoncat05 said...

thanks, guys! carving rubber stamps is fun, but I think it's just as much fun to find non-traditional stamping materials... glad you're enjoying my blog posts!

Felicia said...

Sounds like a fabulously inspirational class :)

iHanna said...

thanks for a lovely post about a class I could never take (I don't live in the same country) but was very inspired to read about!!! :-)