Feather Fascination | How to Make a Nature-Inspired Stamp

Today’s newsletter is from guest blogger Jenny Cochran Lee, whose newest Art Lesson is all about how to use nature to inspire your color palette and about making mixed-media artwork using handmade stamps. Enjoy! ~Cherie 

Feathers and Stamping Techniques | ClothPaperScissors.com
Learn how to make your own stamps
with Art Lesson 6: Outside In
by Jenny Cochran Lee.

Feather Fascination by Jenny Cochran Lee

June in Georgia is fantastic. The spring pollen has blown away, the nights are cool, and the mosquitoes are still timid. I spend lots of time on my screened-in porch, where I listen to the cheerful songbirds in the woods around my house. Perhaps this daily concert has led to my recent fascination with feathers. I’ve been playing around with all kinds of ways to make paper feathers that look and feel as fluffy as the real thing. 

One of the easiest ways to make feathers is to use craft foam to create a simple stamp. To do this, you’ll need:
• Rice paper or other thin paper
• Sticky-back craft foam
• Scissors
• Acrylic stamp block
• Solvent-based ink pad
• Optional: Sewing machine 

Step 1. Cut a simple feather shape from sticky-back craft foam. Then cut the feather shape into horizontal strips.
Step 2. Peel the backing from the foam and adhere the strips to a stamp block, allowing some space in between (an acrylic block, a wooden block, or a piece of heavier foam will work).
Step 3. Gently press the stamp onto a solvent-based ink pad and press it onto white paper.
Step 4. Use scissors to cut out the feather shape, then cut it diagonally along the sides to create a fringe. Use your fingers to gently curl the fringe.
Step 5. Optional: If you have a sewing machine, stitch from the top of the feather to the bottom. If you wish, you can stitch the feather onto another piece of decorated paper. 

If you’re up for a bigger challenge, try carving a feather-shaped rubber stamp. Although carving a delicate feather sounds daunting, you can make it easier by keeping the design simple. Keep in mind that stamp carving can be tricky, so give yourself time to practice if you’re new to this technique. Also, please be careful! Wear glasses or protective eyewear and always carve away from your body.

How to make a carved stamp | ClothPaperScissors.com

You’ll need:

• Rice or other thin paper
• Speedball Speedy-Cut Carving Rubber
• Speedball linoleum cutter with blades
• Pencil
• Solvent-based ink pad
• Optional: Sewing machine

Step 1. Use a linoleum cutter and knife blade to cut a small rectangle from the carving rubber.
Step 2. With a pencil, draw a feather design onto a piece of carving rubber. I drew a simple row of chevron shapes to get a “feather” design.
Step 3. Using the linoleum cutter and blade number 5, start at the outside edge of your pencil lines and carve strips of rubber away from the design.
Step 4. Use blade number 1 to add fine details to the image.
Step 5. Cut around the carved shape with the knife blade.
Step 6. Gently press the stamp onto a solvent based ink pad and then press onto white paper.
Step 7. Use scissors to trim the feather shape and cut diagonally along the sides of the feather to create a fringe. Use your fingers to gently curl the edges to curl the fringe
Step 8: Optional: If you have a sewing machine, stitch from the top to the bottom of the feather. If you wish, you can stitch the feather onto another piece of decorated paper.

Have fun experimenting with these feather-making techniques! ~Jenny


Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques


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