Friday, February 5, 2016

First Friday Artist

I'm very excited to be the First Friday Artist over at Diana Trout's blog today. I am talking about my experiences with hand carved stamps, and you can see the post here.

Diana is a mixed media artist I follow and I love her work!  She posts great videos and has wonderful online classes too.  I think you will love her work too.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Exciting News

Lots of exciting news last week!
The Quilting Arts TV DVD, Series 1700,  arrived as well as the Feb/March 2016 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine

 I have two episodes on the DVD which were filmed back in September. . .
 . . . and an article in the magazine!
Both of these dreams can now be checked off my bucket list. I love teaching and am very excited to share my knowledge about cutting stencils and sun printing.

Both items can be purchased at the Interweave Store.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild

The Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild presented a fabulous trunk show at the Quilter's Holladay meeting the other night.  I love Modern Quilts and really enjoyed seeing everything they brought.  Modern Quilts are mostly functional quilts with a modern feel to them.  They often use bold colors and graphic designs, and lots of negative space, but they can also be traditional quilt patterns which have been greatly enlarged or reduced.  Click here for a better definition.  

I have tried to get everyone's names connected with the correct quilts.  
Hopefully someone will let me know if I need to make any changes.

JaNean Frandsen created this quilt for a challenge.  The challenge was to use a Dresden plate ruler.  I thought this was a very clever use of the ruler, and a beautiful design.

Some members of Quilters Holladay put together a few charity strip quilts last year and they were commenting that none of their strip quilts looked as good as Christine Ricks' beautiful quilt top. I love her combination of color and how the strips go in different directions.  I hope to see it after it is quilted.

Another lovely quilt made by Christine Ricks.  I really like the striking red with the calming blues and whites.  The quilt was Graffiti quilted by Karlee Porter.

This was another challenge quilt, this one created by Sarah Oviatt.  I really love her use of negative space and how the flying geese lead the eye up and down the quilt.  

Sarah Watts-Justice had several beautiful quilts.  She reminds me of another quilter I know and love.  Both of them are very mathematical and exacting in their methods and both create amazing quilts!

I just love the whimsy of this quilt created by Sarah Watts-Justice.  She told us she made rabbits until she got tired of rabbits, then made cats until she was sick of making those, and she did not want to make more than the one owl.  I had to laugh because that is exactly like me!  I get tired of making the same thing over and over so quickly!  Once were blocks were created she used her clever math skills to add additional pieces and put it all together in this wonderful layout.

Sarah Oviatt's beautiful star quilt is just gorgeous.  
I really like the way these stars stand out against the grey.

Marci Elmer sent a number of gorgeous quilts to be shown.  
I think this one way is my favorite of hers.

Jamie Penrod created this adorable hedgehog quilt.  Apparently all the quills were suppose to go the same direction but I really like the creative license she took with the pattern.

This is one of the beautiful quilts JeNean Frandsen made.  
I love how each of the patterned fabrics seem to be framed in this design. 

I absolutely loved Shannon Frei Lowe's cross quilt.  
It is a fantastic design and wonderful colors that really work well together!

I was greatly inspired by all of the quilts.
Now it's time to get to work and do something!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

How I Carve A Stamp

Want to see how a stamp is carved? Click below to view the sped up and condensed video of me carving.  The original 20 minutes is shortened to 2 minutes.  The video is not intended as a tutorial, but you might learn something new.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Materials for Hand Carved Stamps - Part 2

The most important part of a stamp is the rubber that it is carved from.  Depending on how long you want to use the stamp and what detail you need, almost anything soft enough to carve will work.  A few years ago I collected a number of erasers as I was getting ready to teach a class on stamp carving.  It was fall and there were lots of back to school sales, so why not buy all the stamps?

Just kidding.  I did manage to restrain myself but it was still a lot more erasers than I needed and I am still using them.  They have been decent little stamps and are easy to find if you don't have an art supply place near by, but there are a couple of issues with eraser stamps: 

1) It can be difficult to tell which eraser is going to carve nicely until you try it out.  Some carve just as well as the rubber made just for carving and some are crumbly.  If this is your only resource then buy one or two and give it a try before stock piling the erasers.

2) Some erasers are not very heat resistant.  I'm not saying that an eraser has to be able to sit on the stove or sit under a hair dryer but . . .well just look at the photos below. . .

These erasers have been sitting in a clear plastic box in my studio.  As far as I know, they haven't been exposed to incoming light, or been near the heating system in the house, yet some how they melted.

During Carve December I didn't use any of these small erasers for my stamps, although I think I should have used the time to use some of them up!  I did use some of the larger Oops erasers I have though.  

I found a number of them for half off at Walgreens one year and then my friend found another large number of them for 90% off!  They carve nicely and are very thick.  I can easily carve both sides to make a double stamp.  They do feel gritty when you are carving them but the grittiness can be removed with a little soap and water.  

The three other carving materials I used during Carve December were : Speedy Cut, Speedy Carve and Eco Karve.

Speedy Cut is one of the easiest blocks to carve through, and it is thicker than some carving material so it is easy to handle.  I had a large sheet of it so I created a lot of stamps from it.  I really like how these stamps came out.  The material is soft, making carving very easy, but it also means it's a little easier to slip while carving and for small pieces to break off of the stamp.  I left one sitting on my studio table and when I came back a bit of an edge had disappeared.  I don't know if I knocked it into something  or a cat did, but it was annoying to have it messed up so easily.

Speedy Carve is thinner and more firm than the Speedy Cut.  I like having a little resistance when carving.  I did not have any issues with the Speedy Carve and really enjoyed making stamps from it.  It isn't gritty or crumbly and prints a great image.  I haven't had any problems with melting or breaking.

Eco Karve is a product Dharma Trading sells.  It is 100% recycled rubber, non toxic and latex free.  It is thicker like the Speedy Cut and could easily be carved on both sides.  It is just as easy to carve in to as the Speedy Carve and isn't crumbly or gritty.  
I really enjoyed carving the Eco Karve and was sad when I ran out.  I need to order more.  I'm just trying to decide what size plates and how many I should order next time!

And the last material you need is ink or paint and something to stamp on to!  During Carve December I used MementoLUXE, Encore!, and Color Box stamp pads and tried out each image in my Canson sketchbook.  The other night I used my stamps with my Gelli® Plate and created some layered mono prints which I will be using to make cards with.  

I know I will use these stamps on fabric in the near future but I also plan on making some of them into larger images that I will print onto larger pieces of fabric.

Now, go forth and create your own stamps and
if you have any questions don't be afraid to ask!