Thursday, 10 July 2014

Lino cutting -my first attempt at stamp making!

How would you like to be able to make your own stamps? Well, you can! They will not be as detailed as the expensive shop-bought stamps, but you can achieve some pretty good effects buy cutting your own designs out of linoleum. All you need is a simple lino cutting tool set and some linoleum sheets to work with. (reviews coming up!)

The first step is to draw your design on the lino sheet. I just used a ball point pen for this. I started with something very simple: concentric and swirly circles.

Next, carefully follow your lines with one of the U-shaped blades. Keep in mind that what you cut away will be the uninked part of the design.

Be careful to always cut AWAY from your body and fingers! Don't press too hard - the cutting should be easy and smooth. You can always go over the grooves more than once to deepen them.

Some people like to carve out the background on the edge of the design, but I think it's easier to just cut around the shapes with a pair of old scissors.  Here are a few stamps that I made using this technique.

They work best with dye-based inks, I think, but you can also try pigment inks and even acrylic paint.  I've tried them with inktense blocks as well. You can find a related post here.

I'm very pleased with the results. You can use this technique to make borders, backgrounds, page accents, etc. I like making circle stamps, because they are very versatile. You can use them, for example, as the centre for flowers. Here's a flower layout I made using some of my lino stamps. You may not recognise that these are stamps because I doodled over them, but the flowers, stems and leaves are all stamped images. Creating with tools that you designed yourself is a very rewarding experience. Try it and you'll be amazed at how easy it is!

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