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Read Thread: How many stamps at once?

Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596818 by The Wolf Family
Apr 3, 2011 10:01am
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I just did one that is about 8 by 5 and took about 6 weeks to carve. It's pretty much all words too.

Go ahead, tell us how many words. I'm betting it wasn't just three words in size 72 font.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596819 by figureeight
Apr 3, 2011 10:03am
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I got a yard of fleece yesterday for $3.00.

You spent too much. During an after-Christmas sale, I bought several fleece blankets from Wally World for $1.50 each. They're about two yards each.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596821 by PI Joe
Apr 3, 2011 10:13am
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It is sort of a Darwinian survival of the most interesting on my carving desk. My (current) favorite stamp progresses nicely and some of the others might never get finished.

Interesting. I try to be selective at the image development stage so I never even get to the point where I'm wasting rubber on a stamp image I don't care for. Nevertheless, I did peel one off and threw it away a coupla weeks ago, just couldn't bring myself to finish it.

With my airplane stamps, the image transferred to the rubber is an outline of the image, but when carved some of the areas are left solid black. Hence, the final stamped image looks a bit different than the printed image. Usually the final looks better; a few solid black areas add depth to an otherwise coloring-book image. I've come to expect that the image will look a bit better after carving. Recently, there was one stamp in the bunch that I felt so poorly about that I kept putting it off and putting it off, carving every other image I had prepared first, and actually considered not carving at all. Even SWMBO had commented about it, wondering why I was bothering with an image that looked so yucky. But I finally sat down and did it, and it came out much better than it looked in outline form. Even SWMBO was impressed, and she normally couldn't care less about my airplane stamps.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596861 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 10:15am
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Only takes a few seconds. What's the big deal?

You probably don't have as many stray marks because you carve with a knife.

To get fine detail with a gouge, you carve very shallow cuts. Then you make more cuts parallel to the first, creating a series of ridges. This can leave spots/strips that are too high.

It also varies with how much white space you have. The more white space and the finer the lines, the more stray marks you get. A few seconds? It could take me a couple of hours to get it just right.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596849 by GreenJello
Apr 3, 2011 10:21am
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Of course, I don't do the two step process you do-- I pull my rubber bits out as I carve.

I've found that to be detrimental to the detail. When the entire surface of the rubber is in place, each cut behaves like the very first cut, smooth and predictable. Having slices in the rubber doesn't seem to make much difference unless you intersect one at a steep angle. Having chunks of rubber removed, however, makes a lot of difference, the rubber starts flexing differently as you're trying to slice it.

The inability to see what's already been sliced is a temptation to start removing chunks of rubber. That's why I like the orange PZ Kut so much: you can clearly see where you've already sliced. Still, I get the same effect to a much smaller degree from pink stuff (I can tell where I've sliced if I look carefully). I always avoid removing chunks until slicing is completely done if possible.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596870 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 10:25am
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I've found that to be detrimental to the detail.

I'm guessing we both have different carving styles, even though we are primarily knife carvers. I don't have issues with my detailed stamps when I pull out pieces as I carve.

GJ
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596796 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 10:26am
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I did spend a week on a stamp once. Several sittings, probably added up to six hours or so. ...snip... honestly if I recarved the same image today I could probably finish it in a coupla hours. I was just waaaaay overextended for my skills at the time, and evidently wasted a lot of time just trying to figure out what I was doing.

Wasted a lot of time?? From what I've seen of your recent carving, time spent figuring out what you were doing was not wasted.

But I can relate to any impatience..... 8))
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596867 by Fiddleheads
Apr 3, 2011 10:26am
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You probably don't have as many stray marks because you carve with a knife.

To get fine detail with a gouge, you carve very shallow cuts. Then you make more cuts parallel to the first, creating a series of ridges. This can leave spots/strips that are too high.

OK, that makes sense.

It also varies with how much white space you have. The more white space and the finer the lines, the more stray marks you get. A few seconds? It could take me a couple of hours to get it just right.

I guess I'm not following. If there's a big, broad white space, you just whip out the giant U-shaped gouge and dig a big trench. Easy peasy. So I guess you're talking about zillions of little narrow white areas, right?
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596873 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 10:42am
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You probably don't have as many stray marks because you carve with a knife.

Another possibility is that Kirbert is carving an already mounted stamp. I mount mine after they are carved, and see a lot more stray marks before mounting than after. And that does get more noticeable in the larger blank areas.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596860 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 10:58am
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Oddly enough, I've never had motion sickness. I think that may be because I'm careful not to try and look at anything in the distance while wearing the strong reading glasses, I am only looking at the work. If I have to see something distant, I slide them down my nose and look over them.

I was experiencing this problem when crocheting as well as carving. I would concentrate so hard on what I was doing close up that when I looked up, my eyes would "swim" and it sometimes made me nauseous. I thought my eyesight was getting bad so I reluctantly made an appointment with an eye doctor, figuring I'm getting old enough that glasses wouldn't be unreasonable. He actually said I tested at 20/15 but my eyes were slower to "unfocus". I don't remember the exact term he used, but what he said was that when looking at something close up, your eyes need to focus more than when you look farther away. So if you concentrate on something close up for a long time then look up, my eyes were still trying to focus when they shouldn't be. He actually did prescribe glasses for me but they are the absolute weakest prescription you can get. Something about the coating on the lenses helps my eyes deal with the difference in close up versus far away. I can now carve and crochet with ease and look up without problems.

and it's nice to know my vision isn't bad, just slow eyes
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596873 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 11:07am
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If there's a big, broad white space, you just whip out the giant U-shaped gouge and dig a big trench. Easy peasy.

Unfortunately, the giant U-shaped gouge can make the cuts too deep, thereby making the "structural integrity" of your lines at risk. If you don't use the U-shaped gouge to cut very deep, it's really not that much faster than using the smaller gouge.

Even still, some of the white space could seem like a lot when it really isn't. This guy has a "lot" of white space but there's no way I can get a U-shaped gouge into the white space on him. You can see he isn't much bigger than the quarter. That means all of the snow had to be cleaned out with the smaller gouge, which took a long time. Also, between the snowflakes there was a lot of white space, but if I had used the larger gouge for that, there would be no snowflakes!
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596737 by bluebirdlover
Apr 3, 2011 1:24pm
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I only carve one at a time, also spending a great deal of time choosing and manipulating an image. I have Photoshop. But there are some great, free, online tools that will to the same thing.

I almost never finish in one sitting. It can take me months to complete an image, but if I take actual carving time into account, my stamps usually take between 15 and 40 hours to complete.

I also no longer consider myself a 'knife' or 'gouge' carver. I use whatever tool is better for what I'm trying to carve.

It's super interesting to me to learn how different all of our techniques are!

~RW
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596899 by RavenWolf
Apr 3, 2011 1:50pm
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It's super interesting to me to learn how different all of our techniques are!

Yes! I had an idea a while ago, that it would be fun if a bunch of us took short videos of ourselves carving. I haven't quite figured out how to do it myself yet, as the magnifying light is in the way. But I would so love to watch y'all carve.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596876 by WalkinOrange
Apr 3, 2011 2:08pm
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How does mounting stamps change the way it stamps? (I just thought it made it a little easier to stamp or kept it from breaking)
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596862 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 2:30pm
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Go ahead, tell us how many words. I'm betting it wasn't just three words in size 72 font.

Over 100 incorporated into an image. It's a big map of an area.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596864 by Kirbert
Apr 3, 2011 2:50pm
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Wally World for $1.50 each

We are not Fla. The blankets sell out here and no close-outs. This yard is a lifetime supply for me. Kirbert, you carve many more stamps than I.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596906 by EmcSquared
Apr 3, 2011 4:41pm
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When a stamp is not mounted, the weight of your hand is not evenly distributed across the rubber and wherever you push is likely to be darker than the rest of the image. Also, if you have a few "gorpkins" of rubber that are not carved out all the way, they are likely to stamp even though you don't want them to. If you mount a stamp with thick foam or wood, the weight of the pressure from your hand is more evenly distributed and the chance at stamping "gorpkins" is lessened. I always clean the white area as much as possible, then I mount on thick foam, stamp, and continue cleaning out the gorpkins until I'm satisfied.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596922 by Dizzy
Apr 3, 2011 4:49pm
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{{a few "gorpkins" of rubber}]

gorpkins???
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596925 by Baqash
Apr 3, 2011 4:52pm
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gorpkins???

Made up word, sorry. My Freshman English teacher used it to describe the torn bits of paper on the side of spiral notebook paper. He insisted that all papers turned in didn't have any gorpkins, so we were expected to cut them off if we used spiral bound paper. Since then, I've always used the word to describe bits of something unwanted that you had to get rid of, just like the bits of paper. =)
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596928 by Dizzy
Apr 3, 2011 4:56pm
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I knew what you meant, just wanted to see you explain it.
Great word.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596882 by Dizzy
Apr 3, 2011 9:01pm
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That means all of the snow had to be cleaned out with the smaller gouge, which took a long time.

This is where knife carving is so much faster than gouge carving. I probably could have carved that image, from transfer to stamping, in 30-40 minutes, tops.

I love my x-acto knife. :)

GJ
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596899 by RavenWolf
Apr 3, 2011 9:03pm
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I also no longer consider myself a 'knife' or 'gouge' carver. I use whatever tool is better for what I'm trying to carve.

Yep, me too. But if I was stranded on a desert island, and had to choose between the knife and the gouge, the knife would win out.

I always start out my stamps carving with the knife, and then use other tools (gouge, needle, etc.) as the carving situation requires.

GJ
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596882 by Dizzy
Apr 3, 2011 10:58pm
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Unfortunately, the giant U-shaped gouge can make the cuts too deep, thereby making the "structural integrity" of your lines at risk.

OK, please explain that better. I regularly use my Speedball #5 to dig so deep that the tips of the U are barely out of the rubber -- but admittedly I'm not actually carving anything at the time, I'm just clearing out big white areas with the edges already established.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596905 by frykitty
Apr 3, 2011 11:02pm
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I had an idea a while ago, that it would be fun if a bunch of us took short videos of ourselves carving. I haven't quite figured out how to do it myself yet, as the magnifying light is in the way.

I tried it once with my Canon PowerShot A560 which has a nifty video mode, but it wouldn't focus close enough. I could have provided a nice video of a guy hunched over a desk doing something. I still think there's gotta be a way somehow, I just dunno how to use the full capabilities of the camera.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596906 by EmcSquared
Apr 3, 2011 11:12pm
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How does mounting stamps change the way it stamps?

Properly mounting a stamp makes all the difference! The idea is to provide a layer of soft, squishy foam behind the rubber and a rigid backing behind that. Assembled in this manner, stamping pressure applied to the rigid backing is distributed uniformly over the area of the stamp.

It's pretty easy to demonstrate the difference for yourself. Carve a stamp and stamp some images with it unmounted. Then mount it, and stamp with it again. See how the images compare. With the proper three-layer assembly, the images always end up noticeably crisper and cleaner than unmounted.

That said, there are lots of examples of "mounting" that accomplish little or even make things worse. Mounting rubber directly onto wood makes things worse, it's very difficult to get a good image. Mounting rubber onto Fun Foam doesn't help the stamp image any (Fun Foam is too rigid, there's no appreciable give when stamping), but it does help protect the stamp as well as make it easier for the stamper to grip. And, as many here like to point out, an unmounted stamp is arguably easier to work with "in the field", as a mounted stamp truly requires a rigid flat stamping surface to work on while the unmounted stamps may be stamped reasonably well on a knee or somebody's back or whatever.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596911 by figureeight
Apr 3, 2011 11:14pm
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We are not Fla.

Good point! They probably ship x blankets to every Wally World, and here in FL they go unsold until they discount them heavily.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596932 by Baqash
Apr 3, 2011 11:16pm
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So, do we need to see "gorpkins" added to the glossary?
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596860 by Kirbert
Apr 4, 2011 5:06am
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I saw an X-Acto knife on sale at Wally World the other day for $2. Didn't buy it, didn't need it. X-Acto also has another type handle available at Wally World, it's got the clamping knob way down at the butt end of the handle rather than up next to the blade.

Thanks for sharing this information. It actully made me stop and take a closer look at the handles of my knives. One of the handles in my knife set has a round end and I was able to FINALLY find a handle strong enough to hold my vet needles! Last night I had a blast learning to carve with the needles. What a difference those make!

So...thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to write back and helping me problem solve my carving area. I never gave the handles of the X-Acto knives a thought because I thought their ends were all the same.

Tri-Colored Paws
P.S. I tried the razor knife for the first time the other night and loved how sturdy and easy it was. Now to practice precision!
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596925 by Baqash
Apr 4, 2011 5:31am
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http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gorpkins
The base word is "gorp" - good ole raisins and peanuts. Just a reminder I taught Physical Education not English.
Re: How many stamps at once?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #596992 by Kirbert
Apr 4, 2011 6:48am
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OK, please explain that better. I regularly use my Speedball #5 to dig so deep that the tips of the U are barely out of the rubber -- but admittedly I'm not actually carving anything at the time, I'm just clearing out big white areas with the edges already established.

When I scoop out the big white areas, the white parts are shallower and when you press down on the stamp, there's less thickness to keep the weight of your pressure evenly distributed. It seems like the problem is that when I make the first pass, it cuts fine. I make another pass close to it and that is fine. But there often ends up being a raised area between the 2 passes that is not fine, so I then take the gouge and scoop that out, too. Now the rubber is much thinner there and the weight is already not going to be even, but then I stamp the image and now I've got areas between the three cuts that are stamping when they shouldn't, so now I have to cut more. Seems like a never ending problem.

What I've started doing is using the larger gouge when I can and just barely taking any swipes at it. It ends up being maybe just twice as big cuts as if I'd used the smaller one. Then I stamp and when I find the raised areas that are stamping and shouldn't, I still need to take the smaller gouge to clean up the gorpkins. No matter if I use the big gouge or not, I'm always using the small gouge for the main cleanup.

Seems like when I carve, the only time it would save time to use the big gouge is when there are huge amounts of white area, and when that happens, you already have a hard enough time keeping the white area from stamping inadvertently. If I mounted on wood, it would be less of a problem, but I mount on foam so I have to be more careful about cleanup in the white area. Too shallow makes ink gorpkins on the image. Too deep still makes ink gorpkins on the image.