Saturday, March 22, 2008

Art Crusade #18 - Fun With Rubber in Room 206!

If you're a little like me and you need a kick in is the a** to get yourself to try new things, then Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team Art Crusades are for you! Hmm...Henceforth to be known as The Art Crusade. (I say a little like me because if you were just like me you'd need 2 kicks in the a**!) I have found them to be so fun and such a good incentive to step out of my box. Click on the button above to check it out!

This month, as I mentioned before, the challenge was to create your own stamps and stencils. Well, since the beginning of the month when I wrote that, it's been changed to just create your own stamps and April will be create your own stencils. And what do I say to that??? Yippee!!! Because of the change, I felt like I really had to try my hand at making a stamp. I was very reluctant. I'm not sure why, maybe I thought it would be too hard and I would get a terrible result. Well, I'm here to tell you, it is not too hard and it is a heckuva lot of fun!

Last night I went to the Room 206 3rd Friday art party; termed this month, "Fun with Rubber!" (If that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will!) Liisa very generously went down to Daniel Smith and picked up some rubber and Speedball blades for everyone to use. (unfortunately they don't offer these items online, only in-store. But they are a great source for paint - their store brand rivals just about any other brand)

Here is what I did:

Here's how I did it:

First, I just tried out a little design. That's where I got the star stamp. I wanted to so something simple that I could draw right on the rubber without worrying about messing up. Then I took the little Speedball cutter and just cut out the outline of the star. I was going to gouge out all around the star, but went I took out the first line that I cut I decided I would like lines radiating out from the star.

Next was the hard part. I wanted to do something else, something bigger. But I didn't have any bright ideas. My original plan had been to print out some of my photoshop brushes that I really like - but I ran out of time. So I started leafing through my art journal and found this page:

(Note the note to myself at the top. Cuter than a squid? He still thinks that's a great compliment. I started this journal in March of 2006 right after I first read True Colors.)

At first I was just going to wimp out and do one bird, but then everyone at the table said they loved the look of the 3 birds standing on each other, so I decided to be brave. I pulled out a piece of card stock and started drawing and eventually ended up with this - in pencil:

Then I thought, "Well how am I going to get that on the rubber?" I had read the transfer instructions but I didn't have a copier handy and I always have difficulties with transfers anyway. I decided to try it the old fashioned way. I drew over the regular pencil with a charcoal pencil, flipped the image over onto the rubber and then rubbed the back of it with a bone folder thingy that Liisa had handy. Wow. When I lifted the paper there was a perfect transfer! (not only that, I think I could have just transferred the pencil - a few pencil lines showed up where I had missed with the charcoal)

Then I went to town with the cutters! I first outlined it shallowly with the small blade and then took out the in between parts with a larger blade. Liisa recommended I just cut off the bits I didn't need entirely to save myself the headache of trying to scoop it all out. Fine tuning it probably took the longest time. I kept inking it and stamping to see if my shaving was deep enough. I probably ended up doing that ten times. Little high spots kept popping up. (no pun intended there)

All in all, I was extraordinarily pleased with the results of this endeavor and I brought home a huge block of rubber so that I could make more. (More! More! More!)

Thank you Michelle!


Anonymous said...

What a great pair of stamps, Laurie! I have to admit that this crusade was the most addictive for me so far =)

Love your spring banner and this music has my toe tapping! Off to check out the artist! Happy Easter!

Julie Brill Molina said...

These are wonderful! I love the three stacking birds! So fun and really well done!

Altered Kat said...

Happy Easter Mrs. LBM!

Gina2424 said...

Those stamps are incredibly well done! You'll be selling your own line! And wouldn't like to cut them all by hand!! Not me! Happy Easter!Gina

Anonymous said...

Your stacked little birds are too them. And the star is great also :)

michelle ward said...

Waaaaaaaa! You know this makes me so happy - that you took on the challenge and feel empowered by the simple task - your own tools! Fab stamps - great transfer trick too. Thanks Laurie for joining in and sharing your stuff and adding to the enthusiasm we are all feeling. High five!

Ursula Clamer said...

Those birds are so cute, how wonderful that they are your own design. They are really well carved and I am sure you will get great use out of them. Well done for taking the plunge.

JeriAnn said...

Laurie, the stamps are great! Your birds are so charming. And I really enjoyed reading about your process. It's so interesting to hear about the creative process. I can always identify and I always learn something. Thanks!

DymphieM said...

Wonderful stamps. Love the birds esprecially.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauri,
wow, you really did a nice job. New ideas flee through my head. Thanx for sharing!

The Bag Lady's Art said...

Hey L.A.B.
Love, love, love, the birds! I have carved a few stamps, I started last year when I taught a unit on it to my 5th graders, we all had a blast. I have always just drawn directly on the rubber, your charcoal transfer tip is great! Opens up tons of possibilities. I love these handmade stamps, no wood to worry about getting messy, low cost, unique, your own art to use in your own art! Great job!
hugs and squeezes,

Jo Anne O. said...

Laurie! I LOVE your birds! I also did a bird, but I couldn't figure out how to do the I bet it took a lot of patience to cut them out like that! I really like the birds piled up...great idea! I need to find more rubber as I have so many ideas but only a tiny bit of rubber left!

Hanna said...

A pile of birds - that is sooo awesome, love your story about how you made them too. I've been wanting to do this for ever and i was sooo darn hesitant before I got to it. I agree with ya, it's FUN!

Chris said...

What a great story! And I really want that bird stamp. make lots and send me one! Very inventive and fun! Thanks for sharing!

Robin said...

These stamps are so awesome! I'll tell you the truth, I chickened out of this crusade. Really, I was all scared of Speedball cutters and hunks of rubber. Now you have pushed me over the edge and I think I'll try it.

ALSO, please email me. The zines are done (at last!) and I have your contributor copies and your special contributor gift, but I need your mailing address!

xxoo Robin.

Anonymous said...

Your birds are supah-dupah rad. I love that you did the full stack> It also sounds like you were pretty fearless about the whole thing which is a bonus!

Life Info Zone said...

Hi Buddy,
These are so cuteeeeeee!!Wonderful stamps. U have done nice job.Thanks for sharing with us.
keep up the work.

Kim Tedrow said...

These are some of the best birds I've seen, love them! -Kim

kathy mccreedy said...

Hi Laurie, I really love your birds! I love that they are progressively different in size, but I probably like the fact that they all three have different tails! SO darn cute! Kinda makes me want to make my own birds now!

DIANE said...

WOW, I'm so glad you took the challenge and took the advice of your fellow artists to do the stamp with the three birds. FAB-U-LOUS!!! They are definitely "as cute as a squid". LOL Love that quote!