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Carving Tools
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Jun 21, 2019 3:41pm
Thread
Greetings all....I have recently lost my carving tools. I had them in my letterboxing backpack which fell off of my trike while we were riding through Colorado. I need to replace them but I cannot find the older carving tools from Germany on the internet any longer.

If anyone has carving tools they are no longer using and would like to sell them...please contact me!!

Wolf Dancer
Re: Carving Tools
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #976533 by Wolf Dancer
Jun 22, 2019 12:53am
Thread
Bummer! I don't have any extras - but speedball has been very good to me :>.
Calling all carvers....Help - I have no carving skills
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Jun 27, 2019 6:40am
Thread
Hi All - I am bringing letter boxing to a rural community in Illinois next week. My mother in-law is celebrating her 80th birthday and I would like to plant a letterbox in honor of her parents. I have a drawing of the stamp I'd like to plant. It's straightforward.....not a ton of detail.
Would anyone be able to carve it in the next couple of days if I provided the drawing? Thank you.
Cookie Puss
Duluth, GA
Re: Calling all carvers....Help - I have no carving skills
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #976737 by Cookie Puss
Jun 27, 2019 9:40am
Thread
Can you post the picture? :)
Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Jul 6, 2019 12:49pm
Thread
Anyone have suggestions on a carving class in terms of images or other suggestions? A friend is asking me to run a class in their art studio for either adults or older kids (or both!)... While I like to carve, the thought of running a class is giving me anxiety!

I'm thinking giving those that register some options to pick from so that I can prep the pink stuff ahead of time! maybe with their initials or something...

and don't get me started thinking about mounting whatever they carve...

help!
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977008 by 20eyes
Jul 6, 2019 1:16pm
Thread
When I do "intro to carving" workshops, I have a lot of simple images printed out so newbies can pick something appropriate to carve. I usually just fish around for a bunch of cute animals online. Here's an example of a bunch of simple images:

Sample stamps

You can mention that lots of folks mount stamps on foam, but you probably don't need to worry about doing the mounting. The image transfer and carving will be plenty to do!

Good luck!
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977009 by Super Hedge Hoggie
Jul 6, 2019 2:11pm
Thread
OH - I also start with very small squares of pink stuff with simple smiley faces or hearts drawn on them (really small - like 1 inch) - to let everyone practice with the gougers and see how it feels to carve before they dig into their actual stamps. I give two pieces to each person so they can see the difference between carving out all the black and carving out all the pink leaving the black.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977008 by 20eyes
Jul 6, 2019 4:53pm
Thread
When I buy my carving material, currently TanZ from Stampeaz, I go ahead and mount the entire 6x9 sheet of material onto a 1/4" hobby foam sheet using spray on headliner adhesive. Then as I cut out blocks for individual stamps they already have the backing foam.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977011 by Super Hedge Hoggie
Jul 6, 2019 5:04pm
Thread
That's a really good idea actually. It's easier to carve intaglio than relief, so I agree to give bold simple pictures and encouraging "details carved out but the stamp mostly inked" since it's easier than the reverse.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977008 by 20eyes
Jul 6, 2019 5:17pm
Thread
Did you look at the Carving Tutorial here on AQ? It is step by step and may help with lingo, transfers, etc.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977017 by christmas6
Jul 6, 2019 9:15pm
Thread
That's a good suggestion. I will review what's there... I'm big on the transfer from blue printed transparencies myself. The funny thing is I've carved several stamps but am having trouble putting together how to! particularly when it comes to selecting the images for others...
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977019 by 20eyes
Jul 6, 2019 10:07pm
Thread
Most of my artsy students wanted to draw their own. Then it was a simple matter of doing a pencil transfer and setting it w/ Stazon ink. Those indifferent to their images stamping backward drew directly onto the material. We talked about how they had to consider positive/negative space and which part of the image to leave and which to carve out, and about moving the material rather than the tool, and I had them practice on scraps to get a feel for the gouges before committing to an image they were invested in -- in particular how to control the depth of the cut and noting that a gouge is cutting two edges at once.

For super simplicity, silhouetted images are an obvious choice. Animals were far and away the most popular.

I had a couple pages of smaller images of varying difficulty (but still pretty manageable for newbs) that I printed on a laser printer. I brought acetone/cotton balls for those.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977011 by Super Hedge Hoggie
Jul 7, 2019 2:38pm
Thread
I teach carving to 4th grade up Girl Scouts. I usually give them a 2 inch square of paper and a pencil and get them to draw their own image - lately I have had several place the paper over an image on their phones and trace them, which has worked well. I have terrible luck trying to transfer from laser or ink jet, so I only teach the trace and burnish method, so I have 2 inch square blanks cut. When sending out my preclass note, I often tell them they can bring their own line-art in 2 inch square size and we transfer to the block with pencil - not many people do this, I expect the leaders do not tell the girls, but in your situation they might be more apt to do it. I do not bother to teach mounting, if I can get them to carve an image they are happy with I feel I have succeeded, but also take my audience into consideration.

However, I love the idea of giving them small stamps to try the positive and negative concept! I think I will adopt that idea for my next class!

Other suggestions - keep the class size small if you are working by yourself. I stress how to hold the gouge and always point it away from you (but have plenty of band aides on hand, teens seem to have a problem with that) safety is important. I also have cardboard lunch trays I give each girl to keep everything together including shavings. And have a number of simple samples to show helps too.

I have also tried to use safety gouges with the girls and to date that has not been successful. Part of the problem is I generally have classes of 20+ girls but have 3 or more helpers circulating to help - all of them learned with a regular gouge and were not proficient with the safety gouges.

Good luck. For the most part my classes have all been fun and all of us enjoyed it!

LL
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977034 by Lowland Lass
Jul 7, 2019 3:54pm
Thread
When we have taught letterboxing to Girl Scouts it is usually in the spring and covers kindergarten brought 5th graders. In my experience, the youngest scouts pay more attention and do fine with regular gouges. Older girls (10-11 years old) need the bandaids because they ignore the safety warnings. đŸ˜€

We get about 15-20 girls for a 45 minute block of time for carving (and then they go letterbox for 45 minutes afterwards). During the first block of time they make a logbook with 5 index cards, trace their eraser and draw an image, and carve a stamp. With older scouts I explain the two ways to carve an image (I have a sample eraser carve of the same image that is two-sided with positive on one side and negative on the other). Given the limited time the girls just carve away the pencil lines they burnished on their eraser.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977019 by 20eyes
Jul 8, 2019 4:10am
Thread
what is "transfer from blue printed transparencies"?
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977061 by aMAZEing adventure frog
Jul 8, 2019 6:01am
Thread
My method for carving computer based images is to bring the image into a painting program, increase the contrast and posterize to two tones but rather than black and white to make them blue and white.

Then print from an ink jet printer on a piece of clear transparency, like the overhead projector kind and rub to transfer on rubber material (like the pink stuff).

I remember some advice to use a light-ish shade of blue instead of black so that the ink doesn't smudge upon transfer.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977070 by 20eyes
Jul 8, 2019 7:15am
Thread
I'll have to try that. I used parchment paper.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977070 by 20eyes
Jul 8, 2019 1:43pm
Thread
I remember some advice to use a light-ish shade of blue instead of black so that the ink doesn't smudge upon transfer.

I have a five-cartridge Canon inkjet printer: Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, all smaller cartridges, and one great big black cartridge. Apparently the two blacks are different, one is dye and one pigment or something like that. Whatever, if I print in black the image won't transfer at all. Printing in blue it transfers fine. For that reason, I have advised that anyone having trouble getting an inkjet image to transfer should try it in blue instead of black. I use cheap aftermarket inkjet cartridges from 4inkjets.com, if that makes a difference.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977103 by Kirbert
Jul 8, 2019 7:41pm
Thread
That's interesting. We have an HP D7200 and it is a bit old and clunky but black smudges in transfer. Blue does just fine, though it has to be just the right shade to show up clearly, and I let it dry overnight, otherwise the gouge takes the ink off as it passes near by. Probably your tips and advice that started me on the carving path after 2mnyshuz dragged me hunting a long time ago... always meant to seek out the modified gouges after the staedtlers stopped being made...
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977117 by 20eyes
Jul 9, 2019 1:31am
Thread
black smudges in transfer. Blue does just fine, though it has to be just the right shade to show up clearly...

Yeah, that's too much ink. When printing black, the inkjet really piles it on, and on any medium that doesn't absorb it, it'll smear something awful. When you choose a color, the printer is more judicious about how much ink it applies. When I did things that way, I got very careful about exactly how dark the color needed to be to transfer without smearing.

Now I use Inkscape, which allows more options. I tell it to use a solid blue, which would smear like crazy normally. But with Inkscape I can also select the entire image and choose a line width, and I choose a line width that is soooo narrow that very little ink is applied and it doesn't smear. What I use is generally 0.350 pixels line width, if anyone wants to try it. The result is a reliable transfer with the narrowest possible lines, they look like hair width on the rubber. Note: Can't include any solid areas in this scheme, it would just make a mess. Solid areas just need to be outlined in the transferred image. If I think I may have trouble remembering which areas get cut out, I'll draw X's on those areas.
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977008 by 20eyes
Jul 18, 2019 5:29pm
Thread
What kind fo rubber do you use for your stamps? I have tried the Speedball Easy Carve, but wonder if people have found something better?
Re: Help, First Carving Class Anxiety!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977436 by Kamera Kid
Jul 18, 2019 7:20pm
Thread
What kind fo rubber do you use for your stamps?

Try these.
Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Jul 20, 2019 3:32pm
Thread
I slipped in cutting pink stuff. It's noticeable and I'm done carving the rest - right into a large solid field. I really dont want to re-carve. Is there a way to fill it?
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977526 by SeerMeesh
Jul 20, 2019 3:53pm
Thread
Is it for an LTC or planting. You could always just touch it up with some marker or ink, if it's for an LTC.
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977526 by SeerMeesh
Jul 20, 2019 3:57pm
Thread
If it's for an LTC, maybe . . . depends on how big and/or ragged it is. For an LTC, you can sometimes fix small nicks or thin lines with a fine-point micron pen if you are stamping in black. If you use a colored ink to stamp, take a tiny paintbrush with the same ink and touch up the stamped image.
If you are looking to actually fill in the mistake 'ON the stamp' by adding back material, I haven't seen that work satisfactorily.
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977526 by SeerMeesh
Jul 20, 2019 4:36pm
Thread
I was able to take a TINY bit of gorilla glue (I understand it expands) on the tip of a toothpick and glue the bit that I accidentally cut off back on. (WARNING: this does not always work, but I was lucky and had a successful attempt).

Good luck!
-PLP
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977526 by SeerMeesh
Jul 20, 2019 4:46pm
Thread
Another idea . . . look at the solid area and decide if it can be modified in some way to incorporate the accidental cut. Can the size/shape be modified to eliminate it? Can a bit of extra carving add a design of some sort to cover over the oops?
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977529 by PeaceLovePiano and Mom
Jul 20, 2019 6:12pm
Thread
I was able to take a TINY bit of gorilla glue (I understand it expands) on the tip of a toothpick and glue the bit that I accidentally cut off back on. (WARNING: this does not always work, but I was lucky and had a successful attempt).

I have done similar things with carves that I have done. These have been for LTCs, but I still want them as "together" as possible in case I do end up planting them.

At least for me the patch is noticeable. However, I am the most critical of my own carvings and I know where the patch was made, so I will definitely be able to see it. I wonder if I go back and look for these patches on the stamps that I still have if I will be able to see it. I only remember one of them that I did this on, so I may even miss the patch jobs. I know that at least one of them I planted, but (again) I don't remember which one it was.

Just enjoy that you made the carve. That's what I do. I can carve and modify until I declare it done, then I just live with it.
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977530 by Wise Wanderer
Jul 20, 2019 7:00pm
Thread
That’s what I was thinking too. A large solid area could be cross hatched, chipped or any other background producing pattern/non-pattern.
Re: Oops!!!!
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #977532 by aMAZEing adventure frog
Jul 20, 2019 7:42pm
Thread
Unfortunately, the space needs to be solid. But on the bonus side, it is for an LTC, so maybe I can ink it in. Thanks everyone!