A stamp in time

CarolAnne Poyman carves her stamp

By Alysse Schultheis


Photo by Alysse Schultheis

On March 1, Isaac Sligh (C’18) led a stamp making event at the Craft House, helping participants design their own stamp, carve it out, and then see the finished result. The carving blocks are made out of eraser material, and as Sligh said, “You could make a stamp out of any eraser you have lying around.” The first step for making a fantastic, personalized stamp is drawing, or tracing, in pencil the chosen design onto tracing paper. Then you simply press the design onto the carving block, and the pencil transfers easily, giving you a perfect image to start carving. After you have the desired image transferred to your carving block, you get to the really fun part: carving to your heart’s content. The aluminum carving tool provides an easy, and slightly sharp, way to either carve a negative image or a positive image. A negative stamp is quicker and easier, but tends to look less professional, whereas a positive stamp looks nicer, but is slower and more challenging.

Carving out the stamp was a calm, therapeutic exercise that created a big mess but a lot of fun. After carving out the design, participants got to try out their stamp with ink Sligh provided. As CarolAnne Poyman (C’16) said, “it was such a fun craft, I’d never tried stamp carving before and Isaac made it really fun.” The event was very laid-back and participants were able to make multiple stamps. Poyman, when she was finished, “felt so empowered” from the experience and took home a unique and individual stamp she designed herself.