21 January 2012

Stamps #4 to 7

Things were starting to feel a little too geometric, so I decided to move on to more organic symbols. I'm interested in symbols and signs, so when I found a book about symbols on sale a couple of weeks ago, I bought it. It's written by a professor, so it should have some scholarly merit, but I mainly bought it for the beautiful artwork, to use for inspiration.

I've been planning to make a series of stamps based on ancient rock carvings and runes (please refer back to this blog entry for more on that subject). While doodling at a seminar last weekend I started drawing rock carvings that I made upp - mock carvings, you could say. They're based on real rock carvings that I'm familiar with, but I tried to avoid drawing them exactly like the real ones.

Mock carvings

My first plan was to turn these doodles into stamps, but then I had another idea. I decided to take objects in my home that didn't exist in prehistoric times and make them look like something that prehistoric man might want to carve into a rock.

Mock carvings inspired by objects in my home 
(a metal clip for a picture frame, a fork, a clock, a paper clip)

I made one practical discovery:
For more intricate shapes and small curves it's better to use something other than craft foam, unless you don't mind a jagged line.

And one interesting discovery:
I transfered the image to craft foam by drawing it with a soft leaded pencil on a piece of paper, flipping the paper over onto craft foam and rubbing the back of the paper. To reinforce the line I used a purple multimark pen. Here's the discovery: after I'd stamped the image I made a second (ghost) stamp and to my surprise, the purple line transferred:

This could be a bad thing, but it could also be used for some really cool effects:

The scan is of pretty poor quality, but I'm sure you can still see the markings I've drawn with a yellow multimark pen on the fun foam before I applied the ink. This has potiential, don't you agree? It just needs a bit more experimentation, because I don't know yet what it is that makes the pen lines trasfer. I used VersaCraft ink. Perhaps the ink dissolves the permanent ink in the multimark pen.


  1. Your stamps are wonderful. I like how you used everyday items to create your own rock carvings. This site has a whole host of rock carving art from around the world. It is a fun place to become inspired. http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/

  2. Thank you so much for the link! I love that web site. It goes straight in among my Favourites.