Hi, my name is Thinkie, welcome to my blog!
I'm a student in cultural studies, a museum enthusiast, a scrapbooker and an art journaler. I love to travel within Europe and I enjoy photography. You can read more about me on my homepage.


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Ali Edwards
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A Beautiful Mess
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Maarten Batenburg
Museum Meermanno
Roeland van Wely

I live, I love, I create, I capture, I learn, I enjoy.

Adventures in Lino Cutting part 1 - Stamp Making

I remember one day during art class in high school, a couple of girls were experimenting with lino printing. I didn't get a chance to do so myself, but ever since I visited the Escher Museum in The Hague, that had lino prints by M.C. Escher on display, I've been interested in trying. Especially since the cutters can also be used to make your own stamps.

I bought a brayer at De Gouden Pluim at the Vrijdagmarkt in Ghent. I love popping in there when I'm in town, it's filled to the brim with art supplies.

I have lived near Terpen Tijn in Leiden for a while but only recently, after moving back to Zoetermeer, I finally allowed myself to pay this art supply store a visit. In a corner I found supplies for lino printing. Yay!
I bought two small sheets of lino, an Essdee lino cutter & baren kit and a set of essdee softcut printing stamps. I'm a little bit sorry that I didn't get the kit with ten cutters in stead, since it contains finer cutters which would have allowed me to work more precise. But the set I got offers me plenty of chance to play around! I didn't get any lino paint or block printing inks; I first want to try it out with the paints and inks I already own.

Later I realized that for lino prints, I need a brayer to add pressure while printing. The baren works for that too, but I got an extra brayer at Schleiper in Liège. Now I can use one of my brayers for inking, and the other one for pressure. The second one is wider, so I'm hoping that will make it easier to apply even pressure.
Only now that I'm looking up the website of Schleiper, do I realize it's a chain of stores. I've actually visited their store in Ghent once. I like how they offer craft and art supplies together in one store.

But back to lino cutting. First I tried my hand at stamp making with the softcut printing stamps, about which I want to tell you in this blogpost. The stamps are 45mm in diameter, so they offer a nice small surface for experimenting with this medium. Julie Fei Fan Balzer talks about stamp carving with these materials in this blogpost. I tried out some designs on paper but realized I was aiming for something way too detailed. I simplified my design but got a scratch on the surface. The store offers a sturdier version of the printing stamps as well. I haven't tried them, but I imagine they'll be harder to cut, which makes it more difficult to get the design you want but limit the chance of scratches. After getting some practice, I was able to work a bit more detailed.

This was my first attempt at carving a stamp.

The printing stamps are supposed to stick to the baren, but they barely do and tend to fall off. I tried my acrylic block that I use with my clear stamps, with the same result. That's too bad...

I took me a while to come up with designs. I didn't want to spoil them and perfectionism kicked in. And I didn't quite know what was possible with the material. The only way to really find out is to try, though! Recently, I had a bout of inspiration and started cutting away at the stamps and at my finger. Oops! I tried to apply different grades of detail and cut away part of a stamp around my design with scissors to see how that would work. I then tried them with stamping inks and some with acrylic paint as well. Some I liked better with stamping ink, others better with acrylic ink.

Be aware that the cuts tend to get congested with ink and more so with paint, especially the shallow cuts. You can see this in the leaf in the upper right hand corner. I've been cleaning them like I would my normal stamps, with baby wipes and sometimes water.

I saw people online working with a citrus stamp and decided to try and make my own. I really like how it turned out!

I had fun coming up with these designs and making my own unique stamps. They're a bit wonky but that's part of their charm. I see myself using them in my scrapbooking and especially my art journaling. I do feel I need to mount them onto something more permanent, since sticking them on the baren isn't working for me.

Geplaatst op 26-04-2016.
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