This week we were tasked with creating a project that was made with at least 40% of two different materials. I decided to focus on something that did not require electronics. I spent 4 days of the week in away for Canadian Thanksgiving so I knew that it would be ideal to choose a project that I could work on anywhere.
I’ve always loved linocut stamps but I’ve never worked with a more robust stamp material. The idea to make hand carved wooden stamps came to me when Ben Light spoke about the positive feeling of cork in your hand. I decided that wooden stamps with cork grips would be a fun project to work on.
I began by trying to acquire some cork. Remembering what Ben said about sourcing reasonably priced cork, I called a bunch of local yoga studios to ask if they sold yoga blocks made of this coveted stuff. Finally, I found a studio who were pleased to brag about their high end yoga supplies. It’s worth mentioning that they were pretty shocked and dismayed to hear me and my friend discuss which size would be easier to cut…
I chose a large block of wood to use for the stamp. I had this block left over from a lathing project I tried in January. I think it might be maple? It smells like it.
I cut down a couple of blocks before realizing that they were unnecessarily thick. I cut those in half again.
Then I played around with the proportion of cork to wood until I landed on this ratio that felt right. I’d say this is about 40% wood, 60% cork.
Before adhering the cork to the wood, I decided that it might be wise to carve my shape. I drew two designs on the faces of the wooden blocks. I ended up changing the second design significantly, as you’ll see in the following images.
I bought a tool that I’ve had my eye on for a long time – a super cute tiny battery powered dremel! I love it! It’s surprisingly powerful for its size! It was the second smallest size. I can’t believe there’s an even tinier one out there! I bought some carving tips as well.
After doing most of the carving I tried inking the block to see if it would transfer the shape the way I had hoped it would. I then made a few adjustments to the design with the dremel.
You can see a little knick there that I accidentally made! I filled that in with a bit of wood filler and it disappeared.
Then I rounded out the sides so that the cork would have a smooth grip and feel.
I forgot to take a photo of this part… I used a small dowel, surrounded by wood glue, to attach the two halves together. The dowel was half submerged in the cork and half submerged in the wood.
After the glue dried they were set to go! Here are some glamour shots of the finished stamps and the effect they make on a couple types of fabric.
The images above of stamped canvas pencil cases. The material was super course so the stamp didn’t work exceptionally well. The effect was much better on the muslin show in the photos below.