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I Found the Perfect Rubber Stamp Storage Idea!

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Above is one of the artworks I created using a hand carved stamp as a starting point!  I used a few steps to make it:

  1. The woven container is a stamp that I carved as part of a series of interesting orb shapes.  I printed it in black stamp pad ink on to white paper. 
  2. The tree is painted with black ink using a small thin paintbrush. Here is a video of a similar one I painted and shared on Instagram.
  3. The colours on the container, leaves, flowers, and table surface are all drawn with cheap felt pens. 
  4. The colours in the background are added digitally with a drawing tablet in Photoshop!

I have accumulated quite a collection of hand carved stamps (some are which are available for order in my shop, and some of my personal designs which I like to use to make my artwork look unique).  When I am looking for just the right one to use in my art journal or craft project, it has become like looking for a needle in a haystack!


After searching for just the right way to organise my hand carved stamps and larger items like rubber block prints (similar to lino prints) , I finally decided on these A4 size document holders. I found them at Daiso, which is a very well known Japanese dollar store here in Korea. They cost approximately $2 each (2000 won) so I bought three to begin with, and will be adding more when I need them, as my collection grows. They fit nicely together in a small bookcase, and I can label them to find the exact stamp I need quickly. I can keep the rubber stamps flat, and hopefully they will not dry out, as the cases have quite a good seal on them.  As you can see I have used upcycled plastic and cardboard trays and lids to further divide the stamps into different categories (eg: cats, weather, leaves and flowers, decorative stamps, basic shapes, etc). 

The reason I needed this sort of storage is because unmounted rubber stamps and printmaking blocks have a tendency to stick together, especially in warmer weather.  This can ruin the delicate details on the stamps.  Also, larger stamps need to be kept flat as they will warp or bend over time.  Rubber is by nature a flexible material, so it does have some moisture contained in it.  If the rubber is exposed to the air or heat for too long it may become dry and crack or crumble.  So make sure that whatever you decided to keep your precious stamps in, they are kept flat and air tight, in a cool place, and definitely out of the sun.  If you want to be extra careful you could also keep different categories in zip lock bags and push the air out before you close them, however I like to have my stamps easily accessible and ready to use quickly when inspiration hits, so I don't go to that much trouble.  Also, if a stamp breaks I will just carve it again, so it's not a huge problem if that happens. Another tip is to put a layer of baking paper/greaseproof paper in between the stamps and the plastic so they don't stick to the plastic.

 

These document folders are handy for so many other things as well, not just documents! How about organising your stationary, scrap booking and card making papers, jewellery beads and findings, sewing notions and tools...so many possibilities!).  Each case has a handy handle which is also good if you want to take your bits and pieces out of your studio.  I use mine for unmounted hand carved stamps, but I think you could probably get away with using them for mounted stamps too, they would just fit.  What do you think of this idea? How do you like to organise your rubber stamps? How many do you have in your collection? Do you have hand carved stamps or the mass produced kind, or both? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

Want more info about hand carved stamps? Check out these blog posts!

Happy stamping!
Regards,

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