hand-carved marks

 

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I've always loved the look of Chinese & Japanese "marks," personal stamps used as signatures on original artwork.  Because they are traditionally carved from stone (my father had one made for me years ago that included an etching of my face!  On the part  I hold, luckily, not the actual stamp surface), I've always equated them with printing, & not rubber stamps.  

 

Rubber stamps are something I've way too many of & don't use at all.  Like most crafters.  And for years I've obsessed over Japanese craft books, passing over the hand-carved stamp books because they looked like just more of the same. Until I saw this.  Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?

 

Given my love of succulents, I've been wanting to make that French Press Cover ever since, as well as matching aprons, linens & potholders.  But it was her journal pages that made my heart swoon.  Look at this.  And this.  And this.

 

We found a kit in Japan town at the Kinokuniya store for about $12 that included a linoleum cutter, papers to trace, instructions, a crafting pamphlet with designs to trace, & 2 3x4 blocks of rubber.  

 

Gennine's tutorials & video brought it all home.  Supplies can be found at Pearl, Dick Blick & my favorite, Flax.

 

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True carved this for his train-loving God-Brother, Kaleo.  I love how it came out looking a bit tribal.  It matches the character of his name.

 

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They were very excited to try it out on the cards.  Martha Stewart's matchbox kits are perfect for giving these in.  

 

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On my kitchen table this morning, I found these little feet carved-out, waiting to be trimmed.  They are 1/2" tall!  Little feet!  I love it.  When I mentioned them to the boys, they said Free "ordered them" for his mark.  Perfect for a 3 year-old who not only taught himself how to ride a two-wheeler last month, but also does all kinds of tricks to keep up the 7,8,9,10 & 11 year-olds next door.  And by tricks, I mean careening down our very steep driveway & making the 90' turn ontot he sidewalk.  Speeding down alleys & kicking his legs against the wall for more momentum.  Feet on the handle bars.  I am one proud, slightly terrified mama.  Maybe I can use his little mark to encourage some drawing time.  And, there's no biking here in the woods or in the lake.