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Carving Stamps

Lesson 3 from: Photo Transfers for Mixed Media Collage Work

Stephenie Hamen

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Lesson Info

3. Carving Stamps

Lesson Info

Carving Stamps

We're going to get onto one of my favorite things to do other than noodling, which is stamped carving because it's basically doodling with kraft knife kind of thing so it's very similar, so if you feel comfortable drawing your own image, you can do that. Um, but a lot of people like to either print out images off of the internet or use clip are things like that and do it from there. So what you can do if you do that is pick out a shape that you want to use and printed out and sold us to this leaf is an example to show how toe transfer it onto the rubber to cut it out, so I don't know if you guys ever did this, but back in the day where you would like, write secret messages and things, and you would kind of take your pencil and outlying something, and you just trace over the lines with the pencil and just cover the whole thing. If you've got, like, transfer paper, you can do that, too. I just think this is so much more fun. It's very old school in my book, so now outlined react like tha...

t, the whole image using my pencil, and then I just take it and turn it over and color the back of it, and then that transfers it onto the phone you can also take a pen or a pencil and just draw or doodle something directly onto your stamping rubber that's really up to you, but if you want to do an image and then just kind of transfers it right on, which is kind of fun so it's not a perfect image and that's and that's fine, so usually what I'll do is if it's light in a spot, I may go back in and sketch over it, but I've got the base of the idea of what I'm going tio cut out and now when we use the tools for carving just know that these little knives are extremely sharp um so you want to be really careful and I'm actually going tio take this and cut it out because I'm extremely favorable when it comes to this stuff and I save every little bit, so if I want a car of a tiny stamp later I can so we'll do that and put it to the side and you're gonna open this up and they're going to be all sorts of different little tips in here that have numbers and everything else I primarily use the they look like these and it's the one the two and that's another two don't need two twos let's see what are you and the three? So I used one two and three of the most just because those are the ones I like, you can try all of them, they all do different things we like about the shape is it really gets into the corners and really takes a lot out and what the difference is is just the size of the v, so the larger the number, the larger the v and the more material going to be taking out in one swipe. So when you're just starting out and you want to just get going, you can use the larger ones and then go down as you're doing additional detail within the stamp from to start with the three and you just twist your tool and then it will open up a little bit and you just slide the end in and lock it in place some lower to how some craft knives work and then all you do is you take and you put the v down into your rubber and you just start to carve and whatever you take out that's where you're gonna have an empty space, whatever you leave that's what the yanks going tio it here too, and transfer that image so I will leave where the pencil lines are and that will be basically where my ink will go on if you wanted to do the opposite of that, you could cut just the lines and then you'll have a fully eggs peace with just some definition of line it's really up to you for this when I really want to get a lot of this out, so we're just going tio start carving her peace. I always carved the outside first, just because if you haven't done it in a while, you've never done it before. It's just a good area that if you mess up a little bit it's ok, because it's outside of the your image and it just takes a little bit of practice to get used to the feel of it and how it works. And you guys have enough that if you feel like, oh, this is the first time I'm doing this, and I've messed it up, you can start over it's totally okay? Because it's, just a little little pressure and a little push, and it just all starts to come right up, but the entire piece is sharp, so if you just want to get part of the edge and not a huge chunk, you khun, just run the edge along there that entire veep shape is nice, so in a little detail edge work, even with it on the outside, if you want, so we're just going to keep taking away that material and building our stamp, so after I've done part of the outside, I'll move to the inside, and I'm going to leave where it gets really tiny and starts to all come together, I'm going to skip that and just move up more to the middle where it's a little bit of a bigger open space and start there and just take some of that out, and then I'll go back in with the smaller tips and do some of the detail, the detail work, and as you start to bring this up, it will cut it off for you. So if you slow if you're down like this and you slowly bring it up, it's going to start to cut that rubber off before you get to the end and rip it? Same thing, I'm going to start in the middle here and just makesem bank cuts, this is another one of those things that took a you know, a few tries toe get the hang of it, but once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. Clearly, I am extremely impressionable after I'm one of those people that if I try the product, I'm like, yes, I have to do that, so we're just going to keep we have a couple questions online, wondering what the name of this tool that you're using us, its eyes from speedball it's, just their stamp carving, tool, stamp carving I don't know if it actually has an official name, but and they're the only ones I have seen, so I don't know there may be others out there, but these are the ones I've I've seen, so I'm going to switch down tio my number one here and I'm gonna start going in and doing some of the really tiny detail work all along the edges and it's fun because you'll start to see all these little bits and they're just little curly cues of stamping rubber and this is just we're just doing a super basic stuff, but they're artists out there that just do absolutely amazing super intricate stamp carving, that's just phenomenal, so if you practice and practice and practice, you could make some absolutely amazing stamps all on your own. So one of the ways to see how you're doing as you're going along like how much you've gotten out is I'll take my pencil and I'll just start rubbing it on its side kind of over the whole thing and what that shows you is where you've kind of still got a lot of material left and that shows you what you can cut down compared to what you've already cut it was just a good way to be like, oh yeah, that part got really thick or I just need to make a little bit more of an adjustment there I usually do that after I've done like the main outline in my first round of cuts and it's just a good way to kind of gauge where you're at and what you want to finish so I'll go back in and then I can start cutting away where that new additional pencils at and that really start teo bring down some of our designs into more detail have you guys stand carpet before no that's new for all of you have done it oh yeah ok. Well she start she's on for handing yeah, like it looks like she's done it before. Yeah looks really good it's one of those things that you can go really basic which are the shapes that I did for you guys air super basic but um it can get just absolutely insanely detailed tio I've done I do these doodle girls to called judo bella's and I have actually done a few of those and stamps and their hair is extremely intricate and just there's a point where I think to myself why I'm doing this my myspace such time when it's all done I love how it looks it just is ah it's a process but I think that anything worth doing is spending it's worth the time so so anybody else for handing our guys doing the transfers we're just going to keep taking off the stamping remember as we go one of our audience member says I've been meaning to do this I have a library book and a collection of resource he's inspired me to have a go oh yeah, we're already inspiring other people were just great did you slowly kind of gettinto stamp carving? I was out of the kind of transition into that little bit I was at an event and somebody did it and it's part of their part of a class and so I kind of gave it a go and tried it out and stuff and that wallace is pretty cool and then it was one those things I was like, it was cool, it was fine, I was at the event went home and kind of forgot about it and we went home with a set of tools and then one day I was just kind of goofing around with some of my drawings and my and my doodles and I thought, oh, I wonder how it would work if I tried toe because in the class I was really timid in this stuck tio the image that I was given and it didn't really break out of the box too much and I thought, what if I took my own image and I you know, I tried that and so I gave it a go and then I was just I spent several hours one night intricately doing one of my doodle girl drawings and after that I was just I was in I was done so it was kind of like ruminating I would say for a while and marinating on my brain before I really jumped into it and got going on it I'm guessing that if you wanted to do like something I like your own handwriting or something you'd have to do I reverse well image any sort of lettering it's going to be like any other stamp your going to dio inverse image of it so that when you actually stamp it it comes out the right okay, he was writing and transferred the same way that you yeah well that's right yeah when it goes down it's in the universe but if you write it like she just did she wrote it out and then when you transfer it over, you'll be fine yeah, but I'm thinking if you do it straight onto the just do it straight into this the idea to do it backwards my brain should either yeah, I'm good I'm really good if I printed out and then go from there are dried out first and then transfer it but but yeah once it's in the stamp itself has to be the reverse so that it comes out right when you're done you guys are going to go home and I'll be like I'm melting kranz carbon stamps were great so yes, you can do that and I'll keep working on it, but um like she was saying, you can just go right at it and just start take a pencil and just start drawing right on here it's a nice easy media to draw on and you can just make your own design and if you do tell a lie it's, just as long as we're not doing words, you can really let this even be your sketchbook at some level and just flow right onto the rubber itself and make your marks and go back and and begin to carve. The thing to remember is if you're nervous at all, you're better off tio start with the smallest because with this once you take it off there's no putting it back so if you're worried about taking off too much of the material when you start, start with the one and just take off any bitty teeny tiny bits all in one little swoop rather than going at it with the number three and then regretting it later and what I love is when it's done unless somebody is absolutely perfectly stellar at this and have been doing it for years and years and years always still has a little bit of that feeling of it being hand made and hand done versus one that you've bought it a store that's already premade one because if you draw yourself you've got that individual personal stamp on it I didn't mean that like is a pine but it sounds like one anyway but if you, um you've got that little bit of graininess to it and not the exact necessarily perfect perfect lines and it just gives it another interesting degree to a project you can just go to town and to the lawyer on this stuff and you might talk a little bit about this further along the course but there's a question from one of our audience members tuning in online is there a particular type of paper that's best to use for the laser print transfer glossy versus matt or other considerations? I just use regular copy paper honestly, I don't use anything out of the ordinary it's apologised regular basic copy paper um when I do it so uh I haven't really done like a glossy finish or anything like that, so I'm not sure how that would turn out, so I just stick with the cheap, good old standard stuff that works for me okay? So for something like this, where you've got lots of little detail bits, you definitely want to start with a smaller, smaller tip on there so I would just pick a spot and get started and this is why I said it could take hours because you just get lost in the detail and you can just turn the rubber as you're cutting if you've got like, a little um a little tiny lacey susan, that would be awesome I don't have like a mini lazy susan, but I think I need to invent that for stamping patent pending just kidding if you go really slow, you can take your time and really get very, very detailed in what you're doing. This is one of those things that you just no is going to take some time and so you just have to make sure that you allow yourself and give yourself that time. I think sometimes we as artists and crafters we go tonight I'm a horrible about this to myself, I'll you know, I'm like I want to get nine I want to get done and I make dinner, I've got this, I've got that we don't always give it is much attention or to it as we should, and this is definitely one of those things that if you rush it's over, you're done it's not it's not going to come back can't add it back in. So this is one of those projects that if you just really want to slow down, you kind of force yourself in half too when you're doing it, which sometimes it's just nice to be able to do that and give yourself that little break of time and this is just me out of curiosity, stephanie is there one piece that you've done or worked on that really just resonates with fiona's your favorite for a particular reason it's actually probably the very first one of my doodle girls that I did because it was just that moment of oh my gosh I did it and there is just that feeling she's missing and I like when it all got said and done I accidentally cut off one of the ice so I have to take a pan every time by using the I think there's rye but you know, like I said, you can fix anything what happens? But I think it was just the accomplishment of finishing that piece for me was like, oh my gosh, I did it I did something that was all mine nobody else's image that I used and there was just that sense of accomplishment of the first one that really has stuck with me and it's kept me playing around with it and just having fun with it so yeah and I said, you know it's not perfect she's a one eyed girl but that's ok nothing a little black marker can't or black paint can't fix when I user and there's also this weird moment when you look down there's all these little pieces of pink rubber and you're like, oh, I'm making progress like stamp carving confetti but you do just have to give in to the fact that any patients and time when working on this, this is it and this is also something I would never dio on an airplane ever want you have to get them to allow this through security and I don't know that they will, but the other thing is I would be almost done and I guarantee you we would hit turbulence and it would be like and two she right off the side and the whole thing would be ruined you could drive it out if you want, but I would definitely not do this one on the go this requires a nice, comfortable seats and a stable environment. Yes, I do a lot of crafting on the go whether it's in the car I'm known to like when my kids have sporting events im that mom that shows up with my own bag of like stuff to deal while they're getting ready and practicing and everything else and this is one I probably wouldn't do that because there's just too much other stuff going on that at some point I would probably look up and mess something up how are you guys feeling out there with the uh with the carving and it is it's it is a lot of fun what's the shortest amount of time that it's taken me a complete a photo transfer project completed photo transfer project if you even in all honesty, you could use the heat gun and with this along so you can do it pretty quickly, I just tend to not use the heat gun in on this just because I liked let it marinate and do its thing. Um but if you do it's been enough and use a gun, you can do it in half an hour, but, um, I just like to let it rest you know, some things are better when you give it a little a little extra time to just do its thing, we'll just keep carving away here and this is really cool too. If you've got lake a logo or something of your own that you want to do, you can make your own so they're having to order it from somewhere you can do your own custom stamps for a logo. This is also great if you love on rebecca, I'm thinking of you for this if you like to like making on fabrics and stuff, you can make your own stamps and then do this with fabric paints and do some really cool there's some amazing artists out there who are doing this and making amazing patterned fabric and then they take it. And so it means all sorts of grace of this has so many applications beyond just this project and, um, paper crafting kind of things it's for so much you can do with it and that I'm actually gonna try I'm just going to buy a plane scarf and give it a world and see how it turns out it's my money list of things to do before summer but you can do little tea towels for somebody is a gift like a housewarming gift and do something really cute all sorts of fun fun things this is also a good one that if there's like a vintage logo or a vintage image that you really like that you just can't get somewhere anymore you could replicate it do that too and going a little further on that the thirty minutes that we're talking about when using a heat gun one of our viewers is wondering if you actually I'm sorry I know you said thirty minutes if you's a heat tool but how long if you actually just let it air dry um well thirty minutes will start to finish so that was quite an image down he drying it and then picking it off um if I let it if you let it air dry I let it air dry this should be dry dry in thirty minutes like that part of it should be done in thirty minutes but you can do the whole thing start to finish and thirty with the gun depending on how thick you put it on like this I put on so thin that it's already starting to dry and it's pretty much dry but I just I liked I feel better leaving it so I usually let it sit for a least thirty minutes when I let it air dry um if you're using just so it definitely needs to go longer and I wouldn't necessarily heat gun that when you heat gun jess so it tends to bubble up especially politically later on in the thicker it is and then the heat gun and get a lot of bubbles um and then he may not get very good adhesion and you're gonna have some gaps in the image so if you go thin and then let it sit, you're better off but the jessica does take longer than the gel medium to dry so that's another thing to keep in mind it just depends on what you're using for your image transfer okay, so I'm gonna keep working on this for another couple of minutes and then show you some of the detail that you khun dio not that I'm saying it's the world's best, but it will give you guys an idea. The best part of this is when you think you're friendly done and he put the ink on it and you put it down you're like, oh there's just something about the first time you actually use it and you're just so happy with the and result so you guys good over there having troubles or is it going okay now I see one that's looks finished over here yes I'm going to do a little bit more on this one and then I will kind of rubbed the pencil over it e can kind of see the tiny detail that you can kind of create if you really wantto do that to yourself I can't wait to see what everybody does it will be fun especially if you are drawing your own that'll be fun to see but it's pretty addictive and pretty simple so one of our viewers is wondering is there ever you dry it for too long type scenario I haven't I loved it overnight and walked away and come back to it so I've never had an issue with that um what we're going to take it off we're gonna use some water and just rub so really there's not I've never had one where I'm like oh didn't work from that perspective so you're you're better off leaving it too long than trying to do it too soon so if you're at all concerned give yourself that extra time and let it be because if you try to take it off before it's dry you're just going to get a mess and it's not going to turn out so I always err on the side of caution and go too long so because I've gone the other way and ruined canvases and things like that so I say that. But then I threw paint over them and some just so and just used him for something else. But you have to restart that hole photo transfer process. We'll finish up this little swirl when I'll show you kind of what we've got going on here.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials With Purchase

Photo Transfer Handcarved Stamps.pdf
Photo Transfer Vintage Images.pdf

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Photo Transfers Supply List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


I like the class overall and it was nice to see a process with easy to find materials. It would be very useful for the students taking the class to have a list of materials needed. Clear Gesso, Decoupage and matte medium were mentioned... but which ones specifically and what brands? Also, I didn't see the use of watercolors (only gelatos). I wanted to see watercolors being used as mentioned in the class info.

Becky Holaway

I've taken both of Stephenie Hamen's classes on Creative Live. She's a great teacher, and I thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Lana Wright

I really liked this class! What I was wanting to learn is how to do photo transfers and I learned that and more. It was neat to see how stamps can be incorporated into the project. My 8-year-old son jumped in as I watched and now wants to give this type of project a try too. Perfect for our new homeschool life.

Student Work