Monday, October 27, 2014

Scraps to Stamps

Over the last six year of JackBear Stamps, I have carved hundreds of stamps.  I haven't counted lately, but I'm confident it's over 500, maybe higher.  In the course of carving an image, I generate a fair amount of scrap (that's "crap" with an "s").  As you can see from my old pistachio containers pictured, it comes in all shapes and sizes.

My parents grew up in the Depression, so they weren't the kind of folks to throw stuff away unless it was beyond repair or worth.  So I keep the bits of corners that get cut off when making a larger image, or the long line that is leftover from trimming something square.  I do throw out tiny bits and shavings that can't be used again, I'm not a total hoarder!

But over the years I have generated quite the stockpile. The thought in my head was I would use this material to carve tiny stamps.  The size of which could probably be mounted to a penny or a quarter. So into the extra jars this material went.  I certainly have enough, and I am more confident in my abilities to carve smaller details.

Some of my letterboxing or stamp carving friends immediately notice the difference in colors of the material above.  The pink stuff is the tried and true, "smooth as butter", material from Speedy Carve from Speedball.  They also will notice the white material.  This is hard to tell apart, but I'm sure the containers are full of PZ, MZ, NZ, OZ, and Firm Kut (as I have carved a little bit of all these) from  Of course the one that would bring the most attention is the now defunct Orange PZ Kut from  Carvers think back to the days they carved on this material like they think back on their favorite Christmas present from their youth.  I still have a few scraps of it left.  I usually just stare at it wistfully.

With one of my biggest shows of the year on the horizon, Mayday Underground, I decided it was time to put the scrap to good use.  So I have been busy carving some sets of stamps to use it up, though honestly I haven't even scratched the surface yet (no pun intended).

Some of the scrap I used to make fault washi tape stamps.  Washi tape is decorative tape used in crafting to decorating just about anything you can tape, from clothespins to clipboards.  So I used a bit of the scrap to make sets of three designs that can be stamped side by side to create a washi tape effect.

I found this font online of all kinds of sci-fi ray guns.  Being a Sci-Fi fan, I was immediately drawn to them, and figured I could downsize them onto my scrap bits of carving material to create a set.  They are small enough that I think you could use them with other stamps of people or aliens and get it to fit snugly in their hands.  The one pictured in black reminds me of Han Solo's blaster.  The purple and green ones pictured remind me more of the Flash Gordon or art deco style sci-fi ray guns.

I have to say I am a skeptic.  I believe in proof, not intuition. However, there is a small part of me that wants to believe.  I hope aliens are out there.  I can't totally rule out that Illuminati are secretly controlling the world.  Is Bigfoot really wandering around the forests of our continent?  I don't think any of these things are true, but the lack of evidence does not immediately disprove it's existence.  So I totally get sucked into shows on the History channel that speculate on the treasure of Oak Island, or the hidden troves of Templar artifacts.  I guess my older brother and sisters watched a bit too much of "In Search Of..." with Leonard Nemoy and I got sucked in.

Pennants and chevrons are all the rage.  You see them all over craft shows, and all over Pinterest. So some of my scrap is going toward some pennants with patterns.  The cool thing with these is that you can use just one from the set of three, or you can use two, or all three, to create a line of banners. You can ink them up in any color you have, or even multiple colors of the rainbow.  They are VERY versatile.  I have fun printing with them, and then taking my pen and drawing a line to connect them. This could not be easier.

If you are interested in one of these sets drop by Mayday Underground this Saturday or Sunday at the Village Gate in Rochester, NY.  Or if you aren't local, drop me a message on my shop and I'll carve you up a custom order.


Dick -Photographer said...

Loved this post!!!

Evermore said...

Great ideas for left-over scraps! Very clever!

Stefani Tadio said...

Genius - and the pennants are adorable! One of my favorite things to do is "make do" with something I already own. Well done!