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So now we're going to talk about rubber stamping, one of my favoritest favoritest things. First let’s talk about the rubber stamp itself. This is a rubber stamp. It's made first with a drawing this one embarrassingly enough happens to be one that maybe twenty years ago I drew and then it gets sent off to be made into a plate, an engraved plate, and then that plate has a matrix made from it, a mold essentially, and on that mold goes a piece of rubber than then goes in a vulcanizer and the vulcanizer heats it up with enormous pressure pushes in the design. So the first we get is the piece of rubber. Now this piece of rubber we've already trimmed, and we have put on the backing piece. And then we hand cut each image with a saw, a little saw that goes up and down like this, and you end up with this where somebody has very painstakingly cut around the image and then that is placed on a block which has been indexed with the actual stamp itself. So when you look at our stamps, if you want to know what it really looks like, all you have to do is look on the block because that's how it really looks, it's really done with the stamp itself. So they turn the stamp over, they pull off this adhesive backing, center it and they're all done with your stamp! So that's how we actually make this rubber stamp.

So next comes the hard part, the putting the ink on the stamp. This is essentially a mini relief print; you're really being a little print maker. So you turn your stamp over and what we want to do is hit the high parts only. You don't want the ink to go into the little crevices. So I’m going to use a white stamp pad now, so that you can see it as I'm doing it. This happens to be Color Box which is one of our favorite brands, it has a lot of glycerin in it which is perfect if you want to do embossing. And also by the way, these stamps because of the glycerin don’t' dry out, but the cover is important. And also as these stamps get used out, if when you're storing it you just them upside down the ink settles to the top of the stamp pad which is where you want it. And this is the first thing people wonder, how am I going to do it with such a big stamp. In the old days there was a rim around it and you couldn’t do this, and now for years they've been doing wonderful stamp pads with a raised surface. You can either put the pad down and do it this way, and you just keep patting all over until you get the white where you want it, or you can turn the stamp pad upside down and do it this way, it doesn't make too much difference, the trick is to get as much ink on it as possible. And let me point out that a brand new stamp, the rubber is new, and it takes a while to fill in all the tiny little holes so in the beginning you may be disappointed, but just keep at it, pretty soon they'll all be full. I always suggest stamping it the first time not on your actual object, but you want to stamp it on something to see if it looks good. So I'm going to right now stamp it on this piece of black paper because it's a white image. I'm going to stand up because you really need a lot of pressure on a big stamp and so you really have to stand up. Then you press down, and a big stamp is much harder than a small stamp. You press down and you make sure that you are pressing evenly all over the image. And that makes it a much better image. Now you pick it and you have to make sure you pick it up in one swoop, you don't want to rock the stamp or pull it across the surface, and now let's see what we've got. Pretty lovely! So there's our image, now another way you can ink an image is a cat's eye. And notice I'm not cleaning it off in between this is a controversial, there are the neat precise people who are probably gasping right now, me, I'm such a slob, I like the way everything mixes together. Because I don't want to screw up my white pad, I'm just going to give it a little big of an ink job and now I'm going to use these little cat's eyes which have a cute little pointed shape and they're very easy to control and by having the white in there, it's slightly more pastel-y, and because they're so small I can really reach in and control it and although I'm sort of intent on making the letters somewhat different, notice here I'm going to put some a little touch of red on the edges, and this is when stamping gets really fun, and you notice I'm not worrying too much about speed. This glycerin really retards the drying time. We will begin and end with orange. You see how the red has made that orange look different from this orange. And now I'm going to do the K, and you see it looks pretty messy, but it's amazing how that doesn't seem to make much difference. Stamping can be so much more creative than you think because it's only the raised edges that catch the ink so the smearing around doesn’t really hurt anything. So I love this sort of pushing things away, it's my favorite thing to do. So here you see the whole thing is inked up in different colors. If you're at all concerned about the inks drying, this is a lovely little technique, you just huff on it, and that sort of activates the inks so now I'm going to take a piece of white paper, and I'm going to stamp this sucker. Again I have to stand up, and push down on all the different surfaces. Sort of like your morning workout. Let's see how that looks, isn't that cute?