Carving Rubber Stamps


Hand-carved Owl Stamp - Lorri Flint

Materials and Tools:

Subject picture
Tracing paper
Soft pencil (#2 or softer)
Carving Block (Speedball)
Carving tool (also Speedball)

1. Find a picture of your subject. Lorri used an owl.

2. Trace the picture with a soft pencil, number 2 or softer

Trace Images

Traced Images - Cat and Wolf

3. Lay the paper on the carving block  face down (penciled side down) and rub. Light rubbing with your finger works, or you can use a burnishing tool if you wish.

This transfers your drawing to your carving material.

5. Carve around the outside line of the figure first and then move to the inner lines.

6. When your figure is carved, you will then need to remove all excess, raised portions of the carving block. You carve away everything you do not wish to print. Relax and allow yourself the time to do a careful job here.

7.  As you near the end of carving Рink the figure and try it out. This will show you where you need to carve deeper, add more lines or remove more background.

Wolf close up

Test image - you can see here that one eye needs to be carved better and that there is still a lot of background to be removed.

8. Continue carving until you are satisfied with your end result – I often try my image several times before I am done.

9. Glue your stamp to a backing of foam or another material to avoid cracking the soft rubber while stamping.

10. When your glue is dry on the backing you can add a handle or tab, using duct tape or another sturdy tape that will survive through use and cleaning.

Hungry as a Wolf

Here is the wolf stamp used in my sister's wolf journal.

Cat stamp close up

Cat Stamp close up

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