What is Stamp Carving?
It is carving an image out of linoleum using very sharp carving tools. The ends of each tool all create a different shape in the lino.
Firstly I decide on the size of the stamp to be produced. Then I print or draw the image to be recreated. If I print the image I then trace the paper with a soft pencil and then rub it on the lino to transfer a mirror image of it. You must cut out a mirror image of your stamp.
The cutting process requires choosing the correct size cutting tool to follow lines and slice away what isn't needed. Once you are basically happy with your stamp you press it to ink and then paper in order to see where there are still high points on the stamp so you can carve them lower. You repeat this process until you are happy with the stamp.
When you look at a completed stamp you see what would be a mirror image of what you are creating. Do you know how many times I've carved a stamp and realised after I had finished that I hadn't used the mirror image...way too many to count...
Types of Lino and Cutters
Carving surfaces can range from hard plastic to a very soft Japanese linoleum which feels like you are cutting through butter. I prefer the medium to harder lino as I find it is easier to stamp with. They also give more resistance when cutting which I prefer.
I use Pfeil Linoleum cutters but they are on the expensive side of stamp carving. There are much more affordable tools on the market.
Can I make you a stamp?
I seem to be drawn, at the moment, to recreating logos in the form of a stamp. I started with my own and then created a few for friends' businesses. I’ve also created a family signature that can be used to stamp Christmas cards. I can mount a stamp onto a handle made from scraps of oak and other wood which finish the stamp off nicely and quite practical when using the stamp.