I love the Yellow Owl Workshop so I was very excited indeed to hear that Christine and Evan were coming to London, for the launch of Christine’s new book, Print Workshop.

My copy of Print Workshop signed by Christine Schmidt and the little fish stamp she made me!

My copy of Print Workshop signed by Christine Schmidt and the little fish stamp she made me!

So excited in fact that I booked the afternoon of work and went along to Urban Outfitters in Spitalfields for the launch, and I’m very glad I did. As well as signing copies of the book, Christine was running a workshop on stamp-making.

Wooden block with Speedball Speedy Carve attached, pencil and paper

Wooden block with rubber block attached, pencil and paper

We were each given a wooden block with rubber block already attached, and either a template, or a piece of paper and a pencil to create our own design. I opted for the latter, and stared at this blank sheet for a little while before inspiration hit me!

Transferring the design onto the Speedy Carve

Transferring the design onto the rubber block

I finally settled on some little fish (which you can see just at the top right of the image above). Having drawn my design onto paper, I placed the paper design-side down onto the rubber and transferred the design by rubbing my fingernail over it.

Speedy Carve with design transferred onto it

Rubber block with design transferred onto it

Next, using a linoleum carving tool with a ‘v-gauge’, I carved the outlines and details of the design…

Carving the outlines of the design

Carving the outlines of the design

…like this:

Stage one of the carving complete

Stage one of the carving complete

Next, using a wider ‘u-gauge’ carving tool, I carved away the rubber from the areas of the design I didn’t want to appear in my final print – leaving the bits I did.

Carving away the excess rubber block

Carving away the excess rubber block

Once I was happy with the design, Christine recommended doing a test print, to check if anything was printing that I hadn’t intended to print.

A few test prints

A few test prints

On Christine’s recommendation, I actually decided to keep some of the carving marks, because they look a bit like water around the fish. I removed some of the lines closer to the fish though.

Finishing the carving after the test prints

Finishing the carving after the test prints

Then, stamp complete, I got stamping…

Trying out my new stamp

Trying out my new stamp

My stamp, stamped luggage tags and the little fish stamp Christine made for me

My stamp, stamped luggage tags and the little fish stamp Christine made for me

A little bag to keep my stamp in

A little bag to keep my stamp in

The thank-you card I made for Christine and Evan

The thank-you card I made for Christine and Evan

I had an absolutely wonderful time and now cannot wait to start making my own stamps. I already had the Print Workshop book, but the workshop really convinced me how simple some of the ideas are to bring to life. My lovely Dad bought me some carving tools for Christmas, and I’ve ordered my rubber block online, so as soon as that arrives, I’m good to go!

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