The Craft of Rubber Stamping
Lacey stamped valentine
So What is Rubber Stamping?
It is a manner of taking a soft vinyl eraser-like substance (vulcanized rubber) which has been carved with letters or designs to deliberately mark paper or other material.
Today it is one of the biggest crafter's hobbies and rakes in millions every year for small business owners. How did it start? Let's see if I can find a little history about rubber stamps.
The word "stamp" refers to a marking device. Prior to rubber, stamps or seals were made of metal or wood. In 1844, Charles Goodyear was experimenting in his kitchen. He mixed rubber and sulphur and discovered that it was still pliable the next day. He dubbed it vulcanized rubber (referring to the Roman God of fire)
About twenty years later, dentists used vulcanized rubber set in plaster moulds to make inexpensive bases for false teeth. James Woodruff, whose uncle was a dentist, experimented making letter moulds with the vulcanized rubber.
About the same time, Witherell claims he accidentally discovered the rubber stamp when he was trying to resolve a problem with paint running under the stencils and creating blotches on the pumps that he manufactured. He then cut the letters out of rubber and attached them to a piece of wood to stamp the pumps.
Anyone can be a stamper, using rubber stamps to do scrapbooking, making your own greeting cards, or even decorating your walls. Some artists use rubber stamps to make contemporary art. Universities even offer classes to learn how to make your own stamps by using lino tools. Others take their old shoes, and make rubber stamps out of the soles.
Stamps usually use an ink pad to transfer the design. They come in many colors, sizes and shapes. They use different types of ink including pigment or dye based, and chalk. You can even use a magic marker to transfer color to the stamp and a variety of other methods including using watercolor.
Through the years, several techniques have been refined by those who are addicted to rubber stamping. Techniques include:
- overlapping stamps
- merging images
- applying lighter colors first and then finishing with the darker ones
- combining colors by stamping multiple times on same place
- or using embossing ink
More techniques here.
Rubber stamps made from used shoe soles and linoleum
Crafters are some of the nicest people on the planet. They usually will share their ideas with others. Here are a few rubber stamping sites that offer free instructions and downloads:
Free templates and ideas for stamped cards.
Keep on learning and creating!!
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