I had a great time last week taking a class at the Open Studio in Englewood, Florida. They have a pottery studio there and offered a class on making handmade stamps. I have made flat texture plates, and a few press stamps on my own, but I wanted to learn to make rollers and better stamp handles.
Becca Brown was our instructor and she is a master potter full of wonderful tips and techniques. She made a few bases for us that were leather hard. That takes a few hours so the ceramic clay isn't so wet. That makes carving much cleaner and easier. She gave us a clump of clay to work on making our own, and this is what it looked like before the carving (fun) part!
I had some carving tools already, but also got to try a few other ones. I immediately ordered another carving set when I got home! There are different shaped wire toppers to push, turn and pull into and through the clay.
Here they are in a rough state. After they completely dried, I cleaned up all the rough edges and fired them into bisque, which makes them ready to use.
I rolled out a piece of clay into 1/4" thick and had fun sampling out my new designs!
I am really excited to make many more stamps and rollers. I have been looking at doodle designs on Pinterest and have some ideas that are going to be really fun to try. If you work in clay, you can also do similar techniques with polymer clay, too!