2 years ago I bought a stamp carving kit from the Etsy shop of one of my favourite bloggers, Two Cheese Please. It was one of my first crafty purchases and I remember being utterly charmed that the package came neatly tied up with bakers’ twine with two little hand-covered fabric buttons strung on for decoration. I still have those lovely buttons.
So, it has taken 2 years but I finally got the courage to give this stamp carving thing a go. And I think I might be addicted.
My fascination with the process of carving and sculpting was really fired up when we lived in Italy and saw so much breathtaking sculpture there.
We even visited Carrara, the tiny Tuscan town from which Michelangelo sourced his pure, white marble for statues like The David.
The marble quarries of Carrara are extraordinary. As you drive up a twisting mountain road above the eponymous town soaring cliffs of white marble, criss-crossed with satisfyingly geometric cuts and slices where blocks have been removed, soar up on one side. These marble cliffs are so radiant in the sunlight they seem infused with an inner light. They are almost etherial. Until you put your hand to the cold, hard stone and are reminded what skill is required to shape details and smooth edges from such an unyielding (to all but greatly skilled artists) substance.
Radiant white rubber, on the other hand, lets you slide a sharp, grooved tool through it almost as though the rubber is butter. Slightly chewy butter that’s been left out to harden over a few years, but butter nonetheless. There are no words for how satisfying that is.
I’m not good at drawing and so chose the simplest of designs to start with and something I could use for Sophia’s birthday party. I didn’t want the jewel theme to descend into bling territory (notwithstanding the impression the sparkly diamond invitations may have given!) so I enjoyed using this simple stamp to decorate things.