Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Book Review: Making an Impression

Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps
Geninne D. Zlatkis
ISBN 978-1-4547-0125-5
Lark Crafts
(£12.99 on Amazon)

Geninne D. Zlatkis's delicate, nature-inspired designs have the finesse of lino art prints. It is hard to believe that they are created with hand-carved rubber stamps - and printed with ordinary pigment-ink stamp pads. Wow.This beautifully-produced book is a fabulous beginner's intro to the inexpensive craft of stamp-making.

Making my own hand-carved stamps is something I've been meaning to do for a while, and it is with that intention that I bought this book
(and a Speedball Speedy-Carve Stamp Making Kit - more below). 

The how-to section is top notch, and it includes several invaluable tips that might not be immediately obvious. The author has an artists's eye, and her advice for creating a successful designs is excellent. For example, she says "repetition is never dull" - then goes on to explain that "no two stamped impressions are ever the same" and she suggests varying the pressure of your stamped impressions to create different effects. 

Another winning suggestion is to carve a collection of stamps in related designs that will work together to make a larger, unified design.

The projects are presented in three sections: Stamping on Paper, Stamping on Fabric, and Stamping on Other Surfaces. All the projects are imaginative and delightful. The garden journal is charming. The printed fabric embellished with embroidery works a treat, as do the stamped butterflies hand-colored with watercolours. The terracotta pots are charming and would make great gifts. Painted stones have - up until now - made me yawn. But Geninne's stamped stones are something else. They look like they've been carved in relief.

Full-sized motifs for the stamps are provided back-of-book - and there's even a page of extra designs.

One of the top craft titles of 2012. 

Note: I purchased this book myself.

The Speedball Speedy-Carve Stamp Making Kit contains a carving block, a wooden lino-cutter with two tips, tracing paper, and instructions. All you need to get started apart from stamp pad and paper. (This product has not been endorsed by the author - I've included details of it to be helpful.)