I carve my own stamps that I use in all my card and bookmark designs. Like with all my crafty and artistic endeavors, this was something I was interested in and just tried. I read books, did internet research and just kind of threw myself into it. Stamp carving is now my favourite class to teach, since people are always so amazed at what they didn't think they could possibly do.
I like to show people how to work from photos and get a good image to potentially carve. You do have to take some artistic license and make some decisions about what to carve away and what to leave intact, but this is something anyone can do with a little patience and practice.
I've been wanting to work with some of my family's old photos for some time now, but have been too scared, intimidated and worried about being disappointed in my results. One of my favourite photos is this one below, of my Dad (tallest) and three of his four siblings, taken at Fujiwara studio in Vancouver, BC, probably in around 1930 or so.
I worked for five and half hours on Saturday evening since once I start I cannot seem to stop. I tell everyone they need patience, something I do not have. Gotta finish, gotta finish... I finally stopped when I knew I was too tired and sore-necked to keep doing a decent job. Finished it yesterday and will likely still tweak and poke at it more. So the actual carving job isn't so pretty, as you can see here:
But I'm pretty happy with the result. My dad actually looks like my nephew, Ryan, and my Auntie Mary ended up looking like me! And I'd like to say it was my tired hands, but it was actually a bad decision that led to one of my Uncle George's (the littlest guy) nostrils being cut off. I now have to add it in separately. Oh well, live and learn, right.
I think it will look neat with some added colour too. I will experiment a little with it, and try working with some other family photos too. So much to do!
Just have to mention this ...
When the Academy Awards roll around every year, we always have the tv on, even though we are usually doing something else and just keep our ears pricked for anything exciting. We do like to watch the opening though, and we could absolutely not miss last night's since Jon Stewart was doing the honours once again. I haven't let out a cackle quite so piercing in a long time as with the "Gaydolf Titler" line; as soon as my laughter subsided, I told JF, "That is going in my blog." En bon québécois, on dit, "Il l'a, l'affaire." In Quebec slang we would say, "He's just got it." Jon Stewart, that is.