The studio is looking a bit more lived in now, especially as the kids have claimed half the table as their own. We hadn't even got the roof on and there was lego in it!
I've started off with making lots of my usual beads... birds, urchins, houses etc. I have a show coming up, so wanted to get those out of the way before the fun started and I get completely sidetracked!
It was while I was making some house charms that I got thinking about speeding up production. I like to put my initials on the bottom of some of my unique designs, but writing each one on takes time and they all end up different. I decided I needed a little stamp! There are lots of places you can send off for custom stamps, but being impatient I decided to make my own. I've taken pics as I went along to show how you can make one for yourself.
The tools you need are some soft cut lino, lino cutters (I got this nifty little kit where everything is contained within a stamp) tracing paper, (I use baking paper), a scalpel, scissors, a pencil and a biro.
Start by drawing around the end of your pencil on to the lino.
Take your tracing paper and trace the circle.
Draw your initials on to the tracing paper inside the circle.
Scribble over the initials with pencil, and place the tracing paper scribble side down on to the circle you drew previously on the lino. You need to trace your initials in reverse so that when you stamp they mark the clay the right way round.
Trace over the initials so that the image is transferred on to the lino.
Remove the surrounding lino with your cutting tools. Looking back at this, I think I would have got a sharper design if I'd cut around the edge of the image first with my scalpel, I will do that next time!
With scissors cut around the circle to remove the design from the sheet.
Glue the stamp on to the end of your pencil and leave to dry.
Test :) If the design isn't as sharp as you'd like, carefully trim it with the scalpel. Here's a picture of the final stamp with my scruffy finger for scale.
Now it's ready to use to make your mark and identify your work!