Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Make Rubber Stamps

So in my sculpture class, we did a presentation today called "Each One Teach One".

My presentation was on how to make rubber stamps, here is the hand out I gave to my classmates:

**note if you would like to use this, please credit me (Jenn Erwin)

Materials/Tools Required:

-Speedball Speedy-Cut Rubber (or erasers, any soft rubber, linoleum)

-Linoleum Cutters or Wood cutting tools that are not super sharp

-Exacto Knife

-Ink (block printing ink or stamp pads)




Demo Instructions:

1. cut out a piece of rubber (block printing) material.

2. Draw your image you are planning to carve onto the material with a pencil.

3. Carve the outline of the image first

-make sure you are carving away from you; the blade of the cutter should not be towards you.

4. Finish carving the image and around the image area.

5. Ink your stamp with both block printing ink and a brayer (or) with a stamp pad.

6. Stamp/print onto the paper.

7. If you are unhappy with your carving and feel you need to carve more, than do so.

8. Print/stamp again!

To clean stamps: if using inkpads or anything water based ink wise, just use soap and water gently. Do not bend the stamps as they are very brittle.


Before rubber stamps, printing stamps were normally made of brass. The word stamp refers to a marking device. In 1844, Charles Goodyear accidentally discovered rubber while dropping a mixture of rubber and sulfur onto a hot stove and seeing it still flexible the next day. He called the process “Vulcanization” after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. After that, rubber was used in mold making in dentistry. In 1866, James Woodruff started experimenting with the Vulcanization method to attempt to make letter molds. Those were the first rubber stamps created. The first rubber stamps afterwards were found in offices, banks and post offices. Picture stamps were used only for educational purposes until German artist Kurt Schwatting started using stamps in his collages as early as 1919.

- History taken from a book called "Rubber Stamping" by Search Press