Monday. It's Monday once again. I hope you had a good weekend and maybe even had time to create or play.
We are starting a new series today called Back to Basics. Each week one of the CLASSroom teachers will be sharing their experiences with basic paper crafting and stamping supplies. There are many ways to achieve successful results and it is a guarantee that we all do things a little differently. By no means are my methods the only ones, just the ones that I have found consistent results with.
Let's get started with how to get the best possible impression with your stamps. I am going to focus primarily on ink as it relates to line art versus detailed images, silhouette image and suggestions for clear versus rubber stamps. The paper or surface you are using is also very important, but that's a post for another day! What I will say is that generally, the smoother the paper, the easier it is to get a good impression with any given ink. My advice for paper and ink combinations is to test, test, test. If you try a pigment ink and it doesn't work, try a dye or vice versa. For this post I am using Neenah Classic Solar White.
My #1 tip for you is called the "Swirl and Tap". I am real stickler for an even and solid image and this technique is the best way I have found to achieve that.
It is a good idea to clean your stamps well the first time you use them. My favorite is a strong cleaner like Stewart Superior Ultra Clean and a dry white terry cloth. This will help to remove any residue left over from the manufacturing process or lint/dirt that may have transfered to the stamp during shipping.
First the swirl. Rub the ink in a circular motion with medium pressure over the entire surface.
Next, the "tap". Now tap the entire surface, pressing the ink to the stamp. By pressing the ink to the stamp you have much better control because you can feel the resistance against your other hand. If the stamp is on the table, you really don't know how much pressure you are exerting.
The tapping motion brings the ink up to a "bead" - it ensures that there is enough ink applied evenly over the stamp. With this detailed rubber stamp called Leopard and Beauty, I used Brilliance Pearlescent Chocolate Ink. This is my all time favorite ink for detailed rubber images - it is SO crisp! This color is such a rich brown, without too much red. Another ink I really like for detail rubber images is Adirondack Pitch Black Pigment Ink.
Here is the image stamped. One note on the actual stamping - I use finger tip pressure to ensure that I don't press to hard which can cause you to lose detail in the image. It also helps to stamp on a foam mat of some kind, like a mouse pad.
Next let's discuss silhouette images or images that have large areas of solid rubber. This Zebra Pair is a great example. It would be very obvious if the ink did not give an even, solid impression for this image. For this type of stamp on card stock, my all time favorite ink is Jet Black Archival by Ranger. This is my go to ink. It works for me, for the most number of techniques. The biggest exception is that it is not compatible with alcohol based markers like Copic. Of course, I used my "swirl and tap" method again.
I went on to create an ATC (Artist Trading Card) with this image by creating a mask using Judikins Eclipse Paper and airbrushing various colors of Copic Markers and Spica Glitter Pens to create an African sunset. The Copics I used are: YR24 Pale Sepia, E39 Leather, and V15 Mallow. The Spicas I used include Lemon, Orange and Clear. That perfect little sentiment is from a stamp set called Beacon of Hope.
I am pleased to share that Ellen only carries the highest quality clear photo polymer stamps. Why is that important? If you have ever bought clear stamps I would be willing to bet that you can tell that there are variations in how they stamp and how they stick to the block. The highest quality clear stamps accept more types of ink and make a good impression. With clear stamps, like rubber, it is a good idea to clean them first and think about the surface you are stamping on as I have described above.
For this detailed dragonfly from the Antique Engraving Set by Hero Arts, I again used Adirondack Pitch Black Pigment Ink and stamped onto a white inchie. For most pigment ink, a quick heat set is a good idea.
I then stamped the image again on paper from the 6x6 Frond Collection Paper Pack by Memory Box, fussy cut out the wings and adhered them with a very thin but super sticky strip of double sided tape. The "come fly away" sentiment (Botanical Bliss set) is stamped in Eggplant Adirondack Pigment Ink. The finishing touches include Glossy Accents applied to the body and the entire inchie edged with the Silver Krylon Leafing Pen.
Next up is line art clear stamps. You have several choices for these images including Jet Black Archival Ink (Ranger), Graphite Black Brilliance Ink (Tsukineko) and Pitch Black Adirondack Pigment Ink. There are others of course, but these are my favorite. I stamped the little owl image from the Say Hello Stamp set by Hero Arts.
Remove the masking paper to reveal the one inked word.
Use the masking paper again to create a "handle" for the back of your inchie and press the inchie to the stamp.
Here is my finished "Sparkly Owl" inchie. I used the 6x6 Spearmint Memory Box Paper Pack, added Diamond Stickles and Lemon Yellow Liquid Pearls to the wing and highlighted the rest of the owl with the Clear Spica Glitter Pen and embellished with two small pearls.
Thanks so much for joining us today @ the CLASSroom!