Thursday, April 7, 2011

Put a Bow on It

Around Christmas time, a friend of mine drew a bow on a gift’s wrapping paper. I thought it was a cute idea, so I decided to make a bow stamp.

While I still buy stamps at craft stores from time to time, I like being able to create my own stamps. In one of the art classes I took, we carved stamps in gum erasers with x-acto knives. It was a project that made an impression on me because it was easy to do and I wanted to make more.

After that class ended, I got supplies from an art store. There were a couple of varieties of rubber carving blocks to choose from, so I got some different types. I didn’t realize at the time how different they would be. There are blocks that are easy-to-carve, and then there are blocks that are not-so-easy to carve (which of course are cheaper).

In my art class, we had only used x-acto knives to carve so that’s what I used to carve my new blocks. It worked okay on the easy-to-carve blocks, but on the not-so-easy to carve blocks it was disastrous. Stubbornly, I tried to carve on the not-so-easy to carve block, but it was painfully slow. My friend suggested that I get carving tools for stamp making, and I did, which made things about a thousand times easier. (Too bad I hadn’t done that earlier, but that just would have been too brilliant.) Using the right tools makes all the difference.

I sketched some various bows and selected one as my design, penciled it on my block and carved it. I used my finished bow stamp on a brown paper bag to add some decoration to it—a simple way to make it look more like a present.