HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA!
My mother, if you didn’t know, is an artist. So when I was a kid, instead of playing around with construction paper and crayons (well, I still did that), I also got to experiment with India ink, French curves, and etching plates. Let’s just say that for someone with little artistic skill I know my way around an arts supply store.
My mum and I tend to go off on artistic tangents when we’re together, and on a recent Skype conversation we got stuck onto stamps. I have been collecting champagne corks for a few years now with the intention of turning them into nice little rubber stamps, so I figured, what better occasion than my mother’s birthday to try them out?
Generally when you make your own rubber stamps you use a special set of wee chisels that make your life so much easier. Since I am incapable of doing anything that logical, I have a specialty set of craft blades instead. You also tend to use rubber, which has a more uniform consistency and is easier to cut. But what the hey.
So first you draw a design on your cork. I’m going with an A (for my name, natch). The bonus is it’s a symmetrical letter so I don’t have to worry about putting it on backwards or anything. Conveniently the Pie’s name also starts with an A so I’m killing two birds with one stone here. I will consider doing our last initials, B and F … some other time …
After I finalized the design I sent it to management for approval. Fortunately management was sitting on the arm of the couch while I was doing this so it didn’t take long for the paperwork to go through.
Then I set to with my wee knife, carving away at the negative space. Just remember, if you are using cork, that it’s a conglomeration of natural fibres, so things tend to come off in chunks. Also, please don’t cut off any of your fingers or stab yourselves. Blood does not make for a happy crafting occasion.
The finished A.
Testing it out. The uneven and pocked surface of the cork makes for that texture. If you use rubber (say, a Pink Pearl eraser), then you’ll have a much more solid fill on your stamp. Also now that I have three As in a row it looks like the sound someone makes when they fall off a high surface.
I tried to carve out a corgi. But then I accidentally cut off one of the eyes. The Pie said it just means that this corgi is winking.
So because this made me sad I made another stamp. I wish I’d had this one around when I was teaching and marking the papers of students who had not been paying attention. I like the deep disappointment that this stamp conveys.
I’m going to try this out with real rubber and tools eventually, but this is a good start, and I still have some blank corks left to try!