Friday, 21 November 2008

A technique tip - solid stamps

Probably the most common stamping hiccup I'm questioned about is how to get a decent impression from solid stamps - the ones where there is a large block of colour, rather than outline-style. While creating the rainbow of markers image in the post below, I was reminded of this, when I used the "Tart and Tangy" set, full of these bold solid stamps. Here are a few tips I can offer to hopefully improve your results:

* New stamps will nearly always have a residue of some kind on the surface, from the moulding/manufacturing process. This residue is usually oil-based, which is why the water-based marker ink tends to bead up on the stamp surface - and this inevitably leads to blobby incomplete stamped impressions. Before I was truly converted to the delight of wood mounted rubber stamps, I often found the same issue with acrylic and polymer stamps. The solution?? Give all your stamps a good cleaning on the Stampin' Scrub with a squirt of Stampin' Mist cleaner before first use. The microfibre mats will gently but thoroughly remove any buildup. It's also important to clean well after using pigment based inks, which might also leave a residue

* Next - the choice of cardstock matters most for solid stamps. The fibres in our Whisper White and Very Vanilla cardstocks are tightly packed, and the surface is very smooth. Other coloured cardstocks have a rougher texture and absorb the ink a little less evenly. This is great when you are looking for a distressed or aged appearance, but for a crisp clear solid image, choose WW or VV!

* Inking technique matters too - I use the "rub and tap" method, where I first rub firmly over the surface of the inkpad and then tap gently on the pad to finish. Make sure to flip the stamp over to check ink coverage before stamping.

* For our massive background stamps, rub and tap sometimes isn't enough - a rubber brayer (102395 $23.95) will give beautifully even application of ink to your stamp, similar to applying paint to a wall with a roller. It's also useful for rolling over the top of your cardstock piece when on the background stamp, to get the best impression. (remember to rinse the colour off first, or invest in a couple of brayers for 'clean' and 'inky')

* The jeans technique - Sometimes the rubber surface is so smooth, that it won't hold the ink as a complete film coverage. This can be corrected by giving a good rub on your fave pair of denims. Note to self - pay attention and clean FIRST to avoid looking like a pre-schooler let loose in the paint box, also remember that velveteen pants will leave fluffy fibre-y bits! If the jeans don't do the trick, try your Adhesive remover eraser (103684 $3.75) to key the surface a little more intensively.

And, finally, if you still aren't satisfied, just keep on stamping - good workout will definitely improve your results, my set of "Lovely Labels" solid stamps is now behaving nicely after a trip to a stamping retreat weekend where it was well borrowed!

I hope you found this technique tip helpful, please don't hesitate to ask me YOUR questions, and I'll see what I can rustle up for future editions :)

No comments: