Using Found ObjectsMost of my stamps and texture plates are created by hand carving. But I sometimes create them from found objects found in nature or from among other sources.
Here is a collection from my beach combing finds in Jamaica several years ago, along a few other odds and ends. In the example at the bottom of the image below, I used a tiny pottery shard (shown in the upper right corner of the image), smoothed by the ocean, to create numerous flower and star fish designs on clay stamps.
Drawing and Carving DesignsAs someone who loves to draw, I especially like drawing my own designs directly onto clay. I make a lot of stamps using this carving technique. Some of the sources come from my journeys to the southwest and to the mounds of the midwest, in addition to studies with a Hopi teacher, other studies of native culture (primarily Ojibwe, Algonquin, and 6 nations), and my own sketch journals.
I will often make several impressions of my initial carved design, both "innies" and "outies"...
In the example below, I used a carved tree design, and a wood grain texture on the back from a texture plate (shown below in "Making Molds").
In the following example, I used a carved tree ring cookie bead to create a texture plate, then from that I made several stamps in various sizes.
Building Textures on Thrown Forms
The top part of the image below is also an example of a texture plate made into a mold. I form a textured slab from the plate, then carve a design on top of it.
Combining Textured and Sculpted ElementsThe real fun happens when I get to combine several elements to create completely new designs. Here are a few examples...
Making Blank FormsI sometimes make "clay blanks". Then I make molds and later add texture to them. This is a simple process of paddling, pulling and smoothing clay.
Here are a few examples of added texture and sculpted details to clay blank forms to create my signature leaf and feather styles. I also made molds of some of the resulting textured / sculpted forms.
Building a LibraryThough I haven't counted them, I probably have over a hundred hand formed / carved texture plates, stamps and molds, all of which reflect my own unique style. You can build your own library that reflects YOUR style. It does take time to develop, but start with simple impressions from found objects, then move own to layering and building complex forms of your own invention. I think you will find it a very rewarding experience.
Finished Beads and ComponentsFinally, here is a brief tour of a few beads and components made from the above techniques. Some of these are available in my shop at Starry Road Studio.
© 2014, Karen Totten. All rights reserved. All work in this post is copyright protected.