would you like to start carving your own stamps, but don't know where to start? one of the nice things about stamp carving is that there's relatively little investment, and you get a great return with a wonderful collection of hand-carved artwork! for the carving material itself, my favorite product is the artist carve block, Mastercarve, by Staedtler. it comes in different sizes and really does cut like buttah. my second favorite is a product by Speedball called Speedy-Carve...it's pink and comes in different sized sheets so that larger stamps can be carved.
once you have your carving material, you'll need a sharp blade. the most popular and accessible are the carving tools made by Speedball. the handles are usually plastic and have a removable bottom for blade storage, and the tip allows for blade changing and removal . i use the #1 v-shaped blade for detail work, and a larger u-shaped blade to remove the excess material from around the outside edges. one thing that i would like to stress is that these blades are very sharp...make sure that you keep your fingers out of the way (i speak from experience on this one!)!
Staedtler also makes a set of carving blades that are very nice. unlike the Speedball, these blades are not removable, but permanently fixed in their handles. another difference between the two is that this set is much more of an investment than the Speedball set. for me, personally, the handle seems less bulky in my hand and easier to use, and i was able to use my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to help with the expense. most of these supplies can be found at many on-line sources, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels (they usually carry the blades).
once you have your carving block and your carving blades, it's time to start carving! i've been following geninne's blog for quite some time and she recently made a great video on stamp carving (view it here)...she does beautiful work and it's always fun to learn from the best! enjoy!
*this is my new "bliss" stamp! the word was originally written with a brush marker and then carved from a Staedtler block using a Staedtler blade. for the image, white ink was stamped onto black textured paper.
edited: my blog buddy lindsey, over at "piggy in the puddle" is having a giveaway for one of her fabulous hand-carved bee stamps...head on over and leave a comment before friday!