Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Handmade NZ :: adventures in hand carving stamps

Over the long weekend I took a class at Handmade NZ. It was taught by Melissa from Tiny Happy and was really interesting and good fun! 
The class was Hand Carved Stamps and Printing. We were asked to bring along a set of lino-cutting tools, some rubber erasers and something to print our stamps on. 

I have tried my hand at carving my own stamps before with some success. Back then I was using a craft knife which was a little too big and rather-too-easily chopped off bits I needed!
I enjoyed the process though so was keen to sign up for this class when I saw it on the schedule.

Melissa started the class showing us examples of her own hand carved stamps and what she had made with them. She had some beautiful simple designs and seeing how some simple stamps could transform brown wrapping paper, fabric and a little zipped purse was super inspiring.

After she explained the basics she gave us free reign to come up with our own designs and get carving.
I went with a simple chevron design. I sketched it out in my notebook, transferred the design to the eraser and got busy carving. I really like this design and it can almost be used one after the other to create a long line of chevrons....

During the class I also carved a small leaf-like design. It started in my head as an oak tree leaf. I'm not convinced I got the shape right but I like how it turned out. You can see it at the top of the piece of paper in the photo below.
My 3rd attempt during the class was some text. This was by far the trickiest as I initially sketched it as a mirror image forgetting my the time it was transferred to my eraser it would be the right way round meaning when it was printed it would be a mirror image! Luckily I realised before I had carved too much and did it the other way round on the other side of the eraser.

We (Mr Mischief and I) had fun playing with the stamps at home after the class and I may have a go at carving some fun shapes just for him to use.
I also got busy and carved 2 more shapes at home over the weekend. I went for a simple circle/ring shape (it's wonky but I find that endearing!) and an ampersand.
I've already stamped some brown paper for wrapping paper and some little journalling cards to use in my Project Life album. And I am thinking about making some little notelets and cards.

I'm really glad I took the class :-)

Other highlights from Handmade NZ were going to The Story of Felt lecture by Lucy who runs Felt, catching up with Cat and taking her to the Chocolate Fish Cafe for a coffee and enjoying yummy margarita's at Flying Burrito Brothers with Cat, Gill from Mudbird Ceramics and Fiona from More Than Fabric.


  1. your stamps look fantastic! i have all the gear for stamp making-i really should get stuck in next time i have some free time x

  2. Those stamps look really cool - we still have the stamps you made us for our Rugby World Cup swap! It sounds like Handmade was a really great weekend - I would love to go sometime it looks amazingly inspiring! H xo

  3. They look great! Loving your oak leaves xxx


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