Carving

**I added some information below on the tools I used for the stamp carving

I have been really captivated by rubber stamp carving these days.  Bette got me started and now I keep thinking of things I want to carve.  I love making a design and then carving away the excess until only the form remains.  It becomes very meditative as I am fully mindful and present to what is before me.  I also love the look of the metallic ink on black paper: 

 

I love trees, so of course had to carve one!

 

This cross is from the cover of the Book of Gospels at our church and has been calling to me these last few weeks as it sits upon the altar.  I found the design very intriguing.

  

I also had to carve the cello from the dreams I have been having.

I bought the two books above as helpful guides and creative inspiration: Art Stamping Workshop by Gloria Page and Rubber Stamp Carving by Luann Udell.  For the carving itself, I used the MasterCarve blocks from Staedtler (I used the 4×4 inch blocks, but they come in many different sizes) and the Speedball Linoleum Cutters.  I know Bette also recommended products from Stampeaze, but these were the tools available from my local art store.  The MasterCarve blocks are easy to work with.  Use a soft pencil to sketch your design, then use the thin cutters to carve the image, then I went back in with the larger cutters to remove the larger sections.  (Click on the product names for links!)

I am heading off tomorrow for a bit of a Christmas retreat with my beloved.  Some quiet time in a wild and beautiful place, hiking along the ocean, photos to take, time to write and make art, time for reading and naps, all sounds like Christmas bliss to me.  I have already written a couple of posts for Solstice and Christmas that I have post-dated so they will appear magically on their appropriate days.  Feel free to comment or email.  I will have a little bit of online access while away but am not planning to blog more than what I have already posted ahead so there will be a blogging break between Christmas and New Year’s.  Blessings of new birth be upon you!

-Christine Valters Paintner

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