Tuesday, February 8, 2011

OMG, Don't Tell Me I Have A New Art Obsession!

Yep, it's true.  I do.  At least it's not one that requires electronics, toxic chemicals or other expensive/dangerous supplies.  It's stamp carving and I AM HOOKED!

Last Saturday I went downtown for Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's awesome stamp carving class, sponsored by The Ink Pad, and held in Westbeth's awesome Community Room.

You know that art friends are the best friends, so this was even more fun because I went with two of my best buds, Heidi and Pat.

Here is a photo I swiped right off of Julie's blog. (Please click on Julie's highlighted name above to visit her wonderful blog and read her take on the class). That's Pat, me, and Heidi very busy carving away:

Julie taught us a very cool three step process for producing stamped images that look very much like screen prints.  All you need is the carving material and the tools, all of them very reasonably priced.  You print with the paints and inks you already have, so no special items needed there.

Basically you draw or transfer the same exact image on three separate carving blocks, and cut away different parts on each.  I won't give any more details than that.  You really should try to take Julie's class if this interests you.  She's funny, talented, and a very thorough teacher.

I will show you one of the stamps, just so you get an idea of what it looks like.

Maybe it doesn't look like much, but when combined with the other two stamps, I think it produces a pretty neat image.

My second set of stamps were of a sort of weedy looking plant.

When I got home I printed a series and put it together to create this wall hanging.  I think repetitions like this are nice and dramatic.

And now I think I need to order some more carving blocks.  As obsessions go, this one is pretty sane.


Nancy Lynn said...

Love what you did Eileen. Looks like a lot of fun. So many possibilities ahead for you. Look forward to seeing more designs.

SusanK said...

Sounds like fun and love the end results! How hard is it on the wrists and hands if you have carpal tunnel-like problems?

Judy Cantrell said...

It's lots of fun to see what you made. I know that was what I thought the first time I made my first stamp.
Thanks for sharing your artwork from your stamps!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Eileen....HOW COOL!!!!!!! I remember doing that in ART class when I was in elementary school!!!! Such a FUN MEMORY it was too!!! LOVE your ART you made!!!

Dorothy said...

Thats pretty cool Eileen!!

Barbara Mason said...

Hi Eileen- Love that you are carving! Great cuts!!!
And I love this idea for filling in with different colors...I learned carving from Anne Bagby - she uses Soft Kut- You can buy a big sheet cut it to what ever size you desire...it changed my ideas about carving--cuts like butta!!!
Have fun!

Elaine A said...

Hi Eileen -

These are awesome! What great looking stamps. This is something I've always wanted to do. I am ashamed to say that I even have some carving tools and rubber, but have not done anything with it yet - LOL! I don't know what it holding me back. Now I need to go through my messy studio and find where I stashed them.

Elaine Allen

Inge Bekaert said...

Hello Eileen,

please show us more of the stamps and tell a bit more about it ! You know i will never get the chance to have a workshop with Julie...:(

The fish is nice, but the plants are my favorite and they look indeed great when repeated.

In the past I did carve some stamps and one swirl is one of my favorite stamps. I even made a stamp of my daughters face by using a photocopie of a photo. I'm curious about the carving of three parts that make one stamps. So, please share more of your newest addiction !

greetings from belgium

Marianne in MD said...

So nice to see someone we "know" from ATT at the class. I subscribe to Julie's blog and wished I was close enough to NYC to do that class.
Thanks for sharing!

Tammy D said...

Looks great Eileen.

Diann said...

Wowzers...I never ever thought I'd want to do such, but I'm really impressed! I know you all had lots of fun learning techniques to create fun stamps...You go girl!
Thanks for sharing...I love that fish! Diann

Angie Hall Haviland said...

LOTS of FUN!! I need to pull out my carving supplies...have carved in a LONG time :)

Lori said...

Aha! So that's where you've been! lol! These look fantastic, and what a fun class..and that includes the company at the class..lol...always great to learn new stuff with good friends! And your wall hanging looks mah-va-lus!

Kathy Eddy said...

What fun this looks like! I love the weed collection you made up!

Patzee said...

I love your carvings! For me, once I cut the first image, it doesn't look great. But after the other 2 images are created the reult is magical. I just ordered more Speedy Carve and the set of 3 carving tools )life it too short to keep switching blades). Thanks to Julie I can create totally unique stamps. I highly recommend everyone give it a try.

goodling4 said...

And how fun to carve away with your girlfriends to keep cheering each other on!! You are an amazing artist, Eileen!
XXO Gina G

milkcan said...

It was such a pleasure to have you in class! Thanks for the awesome review!!!

Nancy said...

Very cool! I remember doing something sort of similar (lol) with linoleum blocks way back when .. fun stuff!