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**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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12 Responses

  1. Christine,
    I wish I was there in person to (with your permission, of course) touch them. To somehow pray them with my hands. Thank you for gracing us with these new “babies” of your heart.


  2. Thanks Wendy! I am glad the books arrived safely, I am delighted they bring you joy. Releasing these things to others has been a very satisfying practice for Advent. Blessings on your celebrations as well Wendy.

  3. The tree carving I find very moving Christine. I hope its peace follows you on your holiday journey, and i hope its a precious and blessed one : )

    I just got my books today, feels like an early Christmas, I just love them. Thank you so much!

    A very very sweet and blessed Christmas and New Year Christine : ) Wendy

  4. Thanks so much Britt-Arnhild, it was really fun!

    Thank you Lisa, I am eager for some rest and release. I know the time away will do us both a lot of good.

    Thanks Rachel! I added the information about materials into the post above. The blocks I used for these three are the 4×4 inch ones. I used smaller ones the other day when I created my piece about the signs in the sun, moon, and stars (a few posts back). Hope this helps. They are not hard at all, just take a steady hand and a little practice.

  5. Oh, Christine, they are SO beautiful! I want to know how to make some! What materials do you use, and where do you get them? Also, how big are they? They look really big on the photos.


  6. The carvings are wonderful. I can understand the meditative quality of making them. Have a beautiful Christmas break with your beloved. I pray you return refreshed and renewed.

  7. Thank you so much Bette and Cathleen!

    Bette, I am grateful for the inspiration and as I was doing it I was reminded of carving linoleum blocks in grade school and loving it back then. Glad I inspired more giving away to come. And have a marvelous time with your sweetie — that is much too long to be apart!

    Cathleen, yes there is a lovely depth to the process that I am just beginning to explore. I hope your Christmas is warm and surrounded by the love of your family.

    Blessings, Christine

  8. Christine, Your carvings are stunning! So much art, expression, creativity is coming forth ~ it’s hard to believe you just started carving. And to what extent does the process of carving mirror our life: taking away the excess until only the essential is left….
    Your time away sounds deep and refreshing; may you and your beloved be wonderfully blessed right into the New Year!
    Love, Cathleen

  9. I am bursting with joy and real tears. I am loooooving your carvings and am sooooo happy to see your excellent metallic images. What just occured to me dear Christine, is that the cello and the book both were birthed from the TREE! And now you know the meditative process of carving. It is liberating! Enjoy your retreat with your sweetie. Mine is coming home tomorrow after being away since Nov. 1st. I am madly cleaning the house.
    Huge hugs and tears my friend,
    P.S. Thank you again for the two books you have sent. After the first of the year I am going to return your favor and offer my books as well.