Thursday, January 28, 2016

Destruction Can Be Constructive

Yesterday's tasks were all centered around destruction - very controlled, but destruction nonetheless. I did get to play with my equipment and grind stone - very fun and there's nothing like turning rock into mud, but my major project for the day was my stamps.

I have been cleaning my craft area, and wanted to tackle my stamps and other supplies that I use for my annual holiday cards. They were totally out of control, I couldn't find things, and items were getting ruined because of how I had to store them. That had to change.

Wooden backed stamps are effective, show the image well, and
usually transfer that image clearly. But they take up a LOT
of space and they are a variety of thickness and dimensions. 

One major shift that I did was begin the process of pulling all of my wooden-backed stamps off their wood blocks and remounting them onto pressure foam to be used with acrylic blocks. This doesn't sound like a major task, but it actually is. It's sticky, it's very time consuming to separate the rubber stamp from the block or any cushioning it already has, and then there is the storage issue. I still don't have all of the answers, but I have a large bag of stamps that are in process.

New backing material is purchased in sheets. Here, she is
applying the rubber stamp to a new foam core. This stuff
is VERY sticky. But it holds beautifully. A full sheet
costs a bit under $4. There are several brands available, but
only one that I like and it's hard to find. 

I could be really stupid about the process, just rip off, stick on, trim and be done, but I actually want to know (need to know) what the stamp is - what the image is. That means more prep. In this case, as in many other cases, StazOn pads and ink are my friend. I've used the ink for years with my metal etching work. It makes an impression that is permanent and won't rub off, unlike any other ink.

StazOn ink is pretty amazing. I've used it as a resist for
acid etching for years and it's also the only ink that
can successfully be applied to the back of the new
foam sheets without smearing off immediately. 

Stamping each stamp onto the back of the new foam and letting it dry completely - at least 30 minutes, more if you can - leaves a permanent image. Then, strip the stamp, cut out the new backing, pull the protective sheet from the adhesive and put the stamp on its new backing. Trim, and you're done. Easy, right? Actually, yeah - pretty easy, but not a fast thing to do. The difficulty comes with the quantity. I have more than fifty stamps that need to be remounted - a slow process. So, some of them will come with me to work today and I'll start working on a few every morning to get them finished. Then to figure out a good way to store them.

I have a bunch of stamps that I'm removing from their wooden
backs and remounting onto sticky foam. Then the question
comes - how to store these new stamps so that they stay
perfect? That's the next thing I'm going to have to figure out. 

Unfortunately, the original wood backs of the stamps are toast. I don't have any need for them, and neither does DH. Can't have everything. Yesterday was fun, though, and I did get to play with my equipment for a bit, to bring my project to the next stage which will take place at the shop. Hopefully I'll have an update and a finished project by the end of the week.

Happy Thursday, everyone! Back to the grindstone for me ...

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