In ceramics, or any other types of clay work, stamps and moulds are always a bit of a grey area. Can you use the design commercially? Do you have to give credit to the designer? Are you limited by a certain number of reproductions? It’s a minefield. So to keep things simple, I try to make my own wherever possible.
I have made moulds and stamps from all sorts of materials, clay, plaster, polymer, foam, lino, resin… they are all great ways to make your own mark and be able to reproduce it accurately.
Today, I’d like to share what I’ve been trying out to create a different kind of stamp using craft foam and fabric paint.
The foam is from a craft store, sold as ready to decorate door hangers, 3 for £1 and they’re nice and thick (about 5mm)
|Dimensional Fabric Paint|
The paint is 3D fabric paint, this one was Tulip brand. It’s likely that other brands will give the same effect, but make sure whatever you choose has a narrow nozzle tip.
|Tracing the design|
For ease, I chose a design from one of my (copyright free) books and traced it in pencil on to baking parchment.
|Transferring the image|
The design was then transferred on to the foam by flipping the parchment and drawing over the design again
|The design ready to paint|
Here you can see the pencil lines transferred really well.
|Painting the outline|
Next, take your fabric paint and slowly and carefully draw over the pencil lines. It's tricky to get them neat, but you can tidy up any mistakes once you've covered the design.
|Filling in the details|
Use a paintbrush to pull out the paint for fine details. You may need to add an extra dot of paint to build up the design again. You want to try and keep the height level for a good image when you come to stamp it.
|Tidying up the drips|
If you accidentally splodge a bit, use a craft knife to neaten up the edge by scraping the paint back to where it should be.
Once you’re happy with your design, leave it to dry. This paint takes 4 hours, but I left it overnight.
|Using the stamp|
Once they’re dry, that’s your stamp complete and ready to use. I found with the foam, I had to roll over the stamp with a rolling pin to get a deep impression, I’m going to try this on some stiff plastic for my next ones and see if that makes it a little easier to transfer the design.
These just need a bit of tidying up once they've firmed up a bit and I think they'll look great with a translucent glaze pooling in the design.
The possibilities of what you can create are endless. It’s a quick and easy way to build up a good selection of unique designs!