Marian and I had a special craft date while Audrey was at a birthday party on Saturday. Our main goal was to make Marian's American Girl doll a bed (she's posting a tutorial, making a sturdy cardboard bed from the doll's original box, on her blog soon) and Marian decided to try out my new antique Indian stamps with acrylic paint to decorate Josefina's bed. I wanted to try the stamps on fabric, and worked on a scrap of linen while she did her decorative painting (she got 100% of Mama for the rest of it, but the finishing detail work was just for her, so I sat across the table with my own paints).
textile ink (this jar is Jacquard brand, originally bought for freezer paper stencils)
soft rubber brayer (from a Speedball block printing starter kit)
a plastic spoon (I have a stack I keep with my textile inks for scooping that I clean & reuse)
a sheet of glass
well-used art board to protect the pretty table
and a pad for under my fabric (this felted wool potholder worked like a charm)
I think you could just use a foam brush to apply the ink to the stamp, especially a small one like this, but the brayer and ultra-flat glass make even application easy and quick. Particularly for larger stamps or blocks or repetitive stamping (like I have planned for my future bedding project), the good gear is highly recommended.
**I start by spreading a line of ink across the glass with the back of a spoon, then use perpendicular strokes of the brayer to get an even sheet of ink.
**Roll the inked brayer across the surface of the stamp a couple of times.
**Press your inked stamp into the fabric. I was worried that the hard wooden stamp wouldn't make a clear image; the "give" in a rubber stamp, added to that of the foam pad that is part of the mount, helps the uniformity of the impression. One tutorial I browsed suggestedusing a pad under the fabric, which somewhat contrasts, methinks, with suggestions to stretch the fabric taut on a frame, but I thought this felted pad worked marvelously. Marian's stamps, on corrugated cardboard that was slightly warped in some places from our manipulation and the paint, were not as clear, though the images improved when we decided to just let the stamp sit there a moment, allowing the paint to flow down.
I thought my little paisley looked lovely (though I do increasingly prefer the term Persian pickle--so homey!--after reading the Persian Pickle Club).
The second stamp I chose (one of Nathan's picks) was designed for a continuous border. It is damaged a bit at the edge, which (along with my inexpert handling) made it less continuous. Practice I will!
My big stamp is a botanical beauty, and I realized after stamping a couple of images that it is also designed to be part of a continuous swirling border.
Which I did line up better in take 2, this time on my fanciest paper towels (I prefer Bounty, exclusively in the choose-your-size tear pattern. I (infamous in several circles for always tearing wipes in 1/2) always choose the smallest, of course.
A word of caution: My stamps were totally black when I bought them, and when I washed the ink off during cleanup, a lot of paint came with it, which marred subsequent stampings. You can see the black blots on the paper towel above. I'm not sure if that is how they come from India or if the store I bought them from (which had decor rather than actual use in mind) painted them to polish 'em up a bit, but I recommend keeping the mess potential in mind. I did not have any troubles with black transfer during my initial work, so plan on assuming that a nice dry stamp will be fine for future work, too. I just cannot switch colors mid-project without getting out the hairdryer. I'll have to debate varnishing them...seems that it will interfere with the ink "grab"; perhaps varnish all, then wipe off the stamping surface?
Conclusion: get your own, friends (a good place to start may be here: hooray for one-woman businesses!). Next up: batik!