I wanted text to go with my little blackbird stamp. My usual method is to type the text on the typewriter (Silver-Reed Silverette) – enlarge it to twice the size and then trace this on to the rubber block. However this looked too big next to the blackbird – so I had to go smaller. I really wasn’t sure if I could do it but I just went for it and it came out OK.
Below is a photo of the text on the rubber block – I have carved the first few letters. The text is about 3mm high x 2mm wide.
I also used the image to make a flexo plate print when I attended a Letterpress Course at UWE – also in 2011. (Which I had almost forgotten until I came to write this blog post).
But, it was in the back of my head for a long time – that I wanted to make a rubber stamp from the image but I always thought this was impossible – and idle thought. I often write down ideas for work I would like to make or try to make – this was on the list for a long time – “one day?” I thought. Or maybe never, because it’s way too difficult?
This one image was the start of something – little birds in my artwork – and soon they were everywhere 🙂 Giving me joy every day in my garden, on the way to work as I cycle, in the park when I feed the crows, and finally in my artwork. It was also the beginning of my addiction to making rubber stamps.
I hope I can translate my love for birds and the joy that they bring into my work. I love the whole stamp making process and when I see the bird appear as I carve (when making a stamp) it always makes me smile. This reminds me of another thing I love about rubber stamps – it is a very forgiving process – the original photograph does not have to be amazing quality. My crow stamp was made from a photo which was very out of focus but I loved his stance and was determined to use my own image for the drawing.
So finally after many years, my brother’s suggestion of using the image to make a bookmark was complete. Not only that it has become part of my logo and banner. I am not a very religious person but it does remind me of “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”.
I will now be very proud to wear my 2 badges the next time I volunteer – which I hope is soon – I enjoy it very much and am glad to be able to make a contribution in this way for lovely birds & wildlife 🙂
Bellow is the original stamp and the new stamp. You might also notice that I stamp the date in my notebook also. I finished the stamp in January but decided on a few more tweaks before I was 100% happy with it.
I’ve been making a new print. This one was in my head for a while. It was quite difficult to do, starting with an original drawing and trying to figure out how it will be cut and how I will print it.
Here is the rubber stamp ready to be cut.
And then finally cut and test print.
I’ve also printed it on to a Moleskine.
These are the crows I feed in the park. This pair are usually waiting for me and they make a racket in the trees when they see me walk past! I know its the same pair because the one on the right has 2 white tail feathers. Ocasionally another crow tries to muscle in but they chase it off. I feed them meal worm which is nice and light to carry in my handbag 🙂 They fly down immediately after I put the food down and are getting cheekier all the time. One day after I fed them they flew after me and made a racket so I gave them a second helping.
Just when I think I’ve read all the most beautiful Emily Dickinson poems I discover a new one. A nice wish for the New Year. This is also makes me think about living life simply. Technology provides us with great tools and ever increasing ways of communicating but it doesn’t always simplify things. Maybe its my age (!) but I am increasingly finding joy in the most basic things. Walking to work taking photos of the clouds or feeding the crows in the park. It makes me so happy and sets me up for the day. I feel like I want to slow down and not feel like I’m running around chasing my own tail – sounds like its definitely my age!
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.