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Read Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting

Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319860 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 7:10am
Thread
Are "fine artists" using that cr@p for something besides stamp carving?

Doorstops maybe???? Or draft cheaters under the edge of the doors?

I'm sure it has stellar insulation qualities.

Knit Wit
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319886 by Scarab
Dec 6, 2008 7:16am
Thread
Speedball is actually aware of letterboxing.

Actually, at some odd moment within the last six months I was in Michaels and actually found a Speedy-CARVE starter pack. (I think the manager messed up with the order.)

I'd never seen one packaged this way. It was a box, not a blister pack, and it had a label on the front that declared the product was good for many craft and hobby uses "including letterboxing". I've never seen this particular packaging again and I haven't seen Speedy-Carve in that Michaels since. Rats, since that Michaels is the closest to me and actually did carry it a couple of years ago when it opened.

Knit Wit
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319970 by knit wit
Dec 6, 2008 7:34am
Thread
What if all of us--every time we went to Micheal's--asked for Speedy-carve? If enough people in enough states asked maybe they would cave to the pressure? It is a national chain and instead of complaining here...maybe we should complain where it counts. I am going today to ask at the one near me! Just a though...Terrio
Positive vs. Negative Carving?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #313163 by GreatBigSabres
Dec 6, 2008 9:14am
Thread
I've carved under 20 stamps, 15 of which were negative and once I starting carving positive a whole new world opened up with endless possibilities.

Ths image you posted is stunning! For someone with no artistic talent or training, can you please explain negative vs. positive carving?

Thanks!!
Re: Professional stamp carvers, I need some help!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319959 by Baqash
Dec 6, 2008 9:22am
Thread
Sorry, Baqash... I keep forgetting that. I'm just so used to sticking a "U" after a "Q"...

~BOB~
Re: Carved stamps as Christmas gifts
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319781 by knit wit
Dec 6, 2008 9:33am
Thread
As a retired elementary educator, I think what you're doing is fabulous! I'm very sure that the teacher would be more than willing for you to come to the classroom and coordinate this activity one day during the last week before holiday break.

Maybe you could hide a letterbox in the classroom. You could talk to the kids about letterboxing as much in depth as you want or think is appropriate. Write the clue for your classroom box and cut it into 20 numbered parts (or however many children there are in the class). Each child reads his or her part of the clue aloud in order and they figure out together where the box is hidden.

Then each child could stamp the box's stamp in his or her friendship/log book. Maybe the box and stamp could have a friendship theme. Then let them stamp in and sign each other's friendship books and everyone gets a chance to use his or her new stamp!

You could even wind it up just before recess with a second letterbox to search for outside. ;-)
Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319882 by Bobguyman
Dec 6, 2008 9:57am
Thread
Hmm... Is it grayish? If so, it's what my class used =)

Careful. There are several gray products out there. I've tried at least two, both of which were so bad I wouldn't wish them on a class of students.

AFAIK, there's only one "pink stuff" (by two different names), presuming you don't count pink erasers, of which there are bazillions. And there's only one orange stuff. But there are several whites and several grays, and at least a couple of tans.

Hmmm. Seems like you could almost go by color: Pink, orange, or white are OK, avoid tan and gray.
Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319883 by Suzy Lou
Dec 6, 2008 10:00am
Thread
I think Nasco makes it.

Nasco offers at least two products. Their Softoleum is gray (no whitish about it) and it's awful. I haven't tried their other stuff, I think it's called Safety Kut and I understood it was white, and we've had a couple of reports that it's not bad.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319970 by knit wit
Dec 6, 2008 10:06am
Thread
Actually, at some odd moment within the last six months I was in Michaels and actually found a Speedy-CARVE starter pack. (I think the manager messed up with the order.)

No, they regularly carry the starter pack. So, if you're willing to pay for a wooden handle, a couple of nibs, and an instruction book each time, you can buy pink stuff at Michael's.

...it had a label on the front that declared the product was good for many craft and hobby uses "including letterboxing".

Ooooh, I hadn't noticed that! I'll have to check it out!
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319977 by terrio
Dec 6, 2008 10:18am
Thread
What if all of us--every time we went to Micheal's--asked for Speedy-carve?

It would make no difference at all. The days when stores listened to customers' requests are long gone; the person you ask won't even know who to forward the request to. All they care about is the computer totals of how many sales they get for a product, and unfortunately those tallies told them that Speedy-Cut sells better than Speedy-Carve -- because it's cheaper and most customers don't know the difference.

It really doesn't make any difference to me whether Michael's offers Speedy-Carve or not; I'm perfectly happy to order from stampeaz.com. Saves me a drive to Michael's. But I truly believe that Speedball ceasing production of Speedy-Cut would be better for everybody, especially Speedball! They would sell more of their more expensive product (Speedy-Carve), Michael's would sell more of their more expensive product, their customers would be happier, and their customers would become repeat customers. And we'd have happier newbies here, since we wouldn't be getting these messages from them asking how to keep the carving material from crumbling while cutting.

Perhaps a better ploy would be to try and educate the teachers. If we could convince them to quit subjecting their students to Speedy-Cut and to use Dollar Tree erasers or Nasco Safety Kut instead, Speedball would have that much less incentive to cease making two products and concentrate on making just one good product.
Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320026 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 10:27am
Thread
Okay, I thought Nasco made it, but they don't.
Here's a picture:

http://www.dickblick.com/zz404/01/
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320035 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 10:30am
Thread
It might not make a big difference to Michaels, a big chain. But it will matter to a small mom/pop store trying to keep your business. Of course, the response I got when I requested MasterCarve was for a bulk order... she just couldn't afford to stock it until some larger interest in the product was seen. Which is where educating teachers to use the better product would come in. I have told the store a few times that that there is another carver here in this town and the less than favorable points of the bad stuff... I think it just took here too long to sell the bad stuff... she seems to be softening to me, though... the more I shop her scrapbbok store. Personal relationship is going to make a difference for the smaller stores... Michael's won't care diddly squat. They have too many things they offer to satisfy one sticking point.
EMMM
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319778 by knit wit
Dec 6, 2008 10:33am
Thread
if we had the email address we could All email and request Speedy Carve!
Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320041 by Suzy Lou
Dec 6, 2008 10:34am
Thread
Here's a picture:

http://www.dickblick.com/zz404/01/

I tried one gray stuff that I was told was Dick Blick's Soft-Kut. It was awful; the razor knife would tug and grab trying to cut it. But others have reported being reasonably happy with Soft-Kut, which would be unfathomable with the stuff I was using, so I guess it wasn't Soft-Kut after all.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320044 by Eeny Meany Miney Moe
Dec 6, 2008 10:36am
Thread
... she just couldn't afford to stock it until some larger interest in the product was seen.

Bob's Law: "There cannot be a demand until there is a supply." Just exactly how was she expecting to see interest in a product she didn't carry?
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320047 by Tucson Trickster
Dec 6, 2008 10:37am
Thread
if we had the email address we could All email and request Speedy Carve!

Visit speedballart.com and use the "contact us" feature.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320051 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 10:46am
Thread
Y'know, if I operated one of these craft stores I bet I could generate a substantial customer base for stamp carving products! Instead of hiding the various products in irrational locations (Michael's has what Speedball stuff it does carry on the opposite side of the store from the rubber stamps, and Hobby Lobby isn't much better), I'd set up a display promoting carving your own rubber stamps as a craft. Have all the products -- gouges, razor knives, carving rubber, starter kits, etc. -- right there on one display, along with one hand-carved stamp (chained down) and some examples of the images stamped. A title across the top declaring "Carve your own rubber stamps!" And, here's a revolutionary idea, have this entire display adjacent to the store-bought rubber stamps and ink pads!

When I think of how many "crafty" people stroll through craft stores just browsing and how many of them would probably leap at the suggestion to try carving, it astounds me that the craft stores aren't already doing this. The entire "scrapbooking" craze could benefit from hand-carving stamps.
Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320048 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 10:48am
Thread
huh. well, I guess I'll find out on Tuesday.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320051 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 11:04am
Thread
Bob's Law: "There cannot be a demand until there is a supply." Just exactly how was she expecting to see interest in a product she didn't carry?

Yeah... that's the point I tried to make with her in the beginning, telling her that I could also let folks outside of the city but in the area know that it was here and she'd definitely sale it... but coming from someone she hadn't seen often enough, it didn't make an impression. She's shooting for quick turn-around and got burned on a bad product, so she's thinking twice. I understand but I don't agree with her logic cause it's not my store.

As for how they display this stuff in larger stores... I've often thought displays in several appropriate places would make the difference (you see it during holiday food sells in the grocery stores... why else would they put canned sourkraut near the ham in the meat department at the end of December?). Now, selling a can of kraut isn't a big deal, but some of these crafting products would surely bring in a lot more money if they'd just figure out the displaying.

Another law... there cannot be a demand until they SEE the supply.

EMMM
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320070 by Eeny Meany Miney Moe
Dec 6, 2008 11:08am
Thread
Another law... there cannot be a demand until they SEE the supply.

"Moe's Corollary to Bob's Law"
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320070 by Eeny Meany Miney Moe
Dec 6, 2008 11:26am
Thread
Warning: Retail rant

I've worked in a few big box stores and I don't know if Michael's is like this but this is my experience: the best way to enact change is to hit the corporate offices. In the stores often the employees have very strict guidelines on displays. Any deviation from a set pattern is considered wrong and against the established guide lines (as a creative person I got in "trouble" for unique displays that sold product because they did not fit the specifications. Never mind the fact that we had increased sales on these items because they were unlike the displays in all the other stores.

Every wonder why almost all big box stores look so similar? Because they are following the dictates that come down from "on high." It is obvious that the employees are the best route of communication between the customers and the corporate offices but all to often the corporate offices do not like to be given suggestions. They speak, the employees listen and that is how they like it. There have been many times I have seen employees asked for specific changes for months and corporate ignored them. As soon as customers started complaining, things started changing. It's tough as a clerk to tell a customer that you agree with their complaint 100% but you are powerless.

Not all corporations are like this. There are so many wonderful people on the ground and in the offices that work together and do great things, but in my experiences and those of fellow retail warriors we simply are ignored by those with a higher pay scale. Complain to the higher ups because too often the clerks hands are tied. If you aren't heard then seek another set of ears, someone will listen if you pester them enough.

end rant
Re: Positive vs. Negative Carving?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320006 by Road Junkies
Dec 6, 2008 12:05pm
Thread
For someone with no artistic talent or training, can you please explain negative vs. positive carving?

I didn't see any answer to your question so here goes.

If you have an image transferred to the carving medium. Let say it is a circle. If you were to carve the line of the circle it would make a negative image. Everything other than the line would be dark and the line would be the color of the paper you are stamping on.

If you carve everything other than the line , removing all the material inside the circle and outside of the circle it would make a positive image of the circle on the paper when you stamped it.

Most new boxers start with negative images as they are less labor intensive and easier. Once you start carving positive images then you can do more complex images.

Don
Re: Carved stamps as Christmas gifts
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319761 by Quiet Place
Dec 6, 2008 12:16pm
Thread
For her birthday, I carved a stamp and inkpad to my 14-YO step-daughter of her first name. She has done letterboxing, but I just told her she should use it to stamp love letters and notebooks. I was surprised at how much she liked it. There was the possibility she' d think it was lame.
Re: Response from Speedball
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319860 by Kirbert
Dec 6, 2008 12:49pm
Thread
fine art

I corresponded with people at Ranger Inks (makers of Adirondack® Dye Ink) - I think their training manager - and she was aware of letterboxing and I felt she kinda lumped our ink needs together with rubber stamp carving art. I'm sure 99% of their business goes to scrapbooking.
Re: Carved stamps as Christmas gifts
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320016 by Road Junkies
Dec 6, 2008 12:51pm
Thread
I like your idea of making the letterbox stamp something to do with friendship. :)

I actually like all of your ideas, but I'm not sure yet how it would go over. Most of the people in my life think it's weird that I letterbox, so that is the reaction I expect from other people. No one at the school knows anything about it. But, if this goes over well, then maybe in spring we can plan something inside the school.... once I have outed myself as a letterboxer! :)

My thinking is that I'll put the letterbox inside the public library. I know the lady over the children's library and I think we could work something out to leave the box there until sometime in January.

I'll mail the parents the information along with the clues. I plan to use math questions to break the code and solve the clue. If the parents think it sounds fun, they can take the kids to the library to find it. The library is having a lot of holiday events for kids during that week.... movies, game nights, and story time. So, it might be enjoyable even if the families don't care one way or another about letterboxing.

You should see some of the doodles that came home with my daughter on Friday. We have 18 of the 25 forms returned and some of the doodles are just hilarious. I think the kids would have chosen different doodles if they knew they would eventually be made into a stamp! :)

It feels good to do something I love and have others get enjoyment out of it as well.

-Quiet Place
Re: Carved stamps as Christmas gifts
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320105 by Rick in Boca
Dec 6, 2008 12:55pm
Thread
For her birthday, I carved a stamp and inkpad to my 14-YO step-daughter of her first name. She has done letterboxing, but I just told her she should use it to stamp love letters and notebooks. I was surprised at how much she liked it. There was the possibility she' d think it was lame.

I know exactly what you mean. That's how I feel right now, like this is going to go over really well, or everyone is going to think I'm weird. :)

It's encouraging that your daughter really liked the stamp. I know my girls feel very proud when I carve an image of their drawings, so I'm hoping this holds true for other kids their age, too.

-QP
Safety-Kut Was Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320061 by Suzy Lou
Dec 6, 2008 4:02pm
Thread
The Nasco product is Safety-Kut. I've used it before and the quality is pretty good. It's softer than PZ Cut, not as soft as Master Carve, about like Speedy Carve but grayish/tan in color.

It seems to take ink pretty well, doesn't seem to degrade as rapidly as Master Carve if you're coloring in images and is fairly affordable. It also comes in pre-cut 2" and 4" circles as I just discovered on the Nasco website. Might have to do something with that. :-)

Knit Wit
Safety-Kut Was Re: SoftKut (sp?) ??
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320163 by knit wit
Dec 6, 2008 5:02pm
Thread
The Nasco product is Safety-Kut. I've used it before and the quality is pretty good. It's softer than PZ Cut, not as soft as Master Carve, about like Speedy Carve but grayish/tan in color.

It seems to take ink pretty well, doesn't seem to degrade as rapidly as Master Carve if you're coloring in images and is fairly affordable. It also comes in pre-cut 2" and 4" circles as I just discovered on the Nasco website. Might have to do something with that. :-)

Good review of Nasco's Safety-Kut. I've been using it for 10 years and agree with your findings.
Re: Positive vs. Negative Carving?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #320099 by Don and Gwen
Dec 6, 2008 5:35pm
Thread
Thanks! I sort of thought that might be the difference but wasn't at all sure.
Re: Carved stamps as Christmas gifts
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #319761 by Quiet Place
Dec 6, 2008 5:50pm
Thread
I clicked agree, to crazy! ha ha. I don't have kids but do have a suggestion. Forget making logbooks, buy them some cheap ones instead. Even some with lines would work, they don't know the proprieties at this point anyway. Let them later on make themselves one, if they are truly interested enough. It is an experiment, to say the least, anyway. You only said you were making stamps, stick with that. So you fibbed a little, tell them it was for a very good reason, to know what kind of stamp to make them. Do you really think they will all remember you planned on making a logbook [friendship book, won't a little lined notebook work well for a friend to write something in, this in case they don't choose to box. Tell them to get out the glue and typing paper if they truly want it to be more specific for boxing. cut and paste typing paper over the lines, big enough for a stamp. Just my two cents worth. Backed yourself into a corner, did ya? heh heh.
OD