Clay and carving!

Well yesterday I spent the afternoon up to my elbows in air-dry clay… It was quite a revelation and I take my hat off to any clay artists out there whose creations are beautiful, because I seriously underestimated how complicated this is! I now understand why Sally said she prefers Fimo!

I bought a 1kilo lump of clay at the Scrapstore where I volunteer (can’t call it work, because it’s so enjoyable!) on Monday mornings. I had all sorts of ideas running around my brain and it’s been a while since I had time to try out something new. I must’ve been 10 or 11 the last time I used clay!

Here’s what the kitchen workstation looked like when I’d got to the halfway mark and discovered that spray oil is my ally:


I found out that clay sticks to water, won’t peel off a moulding mat without breaking, is more like pastry than I expected and felt frustrated, irritable, disappointed and finally, chuffed!! I did manage to produce buttons, beads, a frog on a lily pad, a trumpet-like flower, smiley man tiles and lots of Celtic icons. They are all upstairs in my craftroom drying out.

The spray oil saved my day and stopped me from chucking the whole lot in the bin… but I am nothing if not persistent!! I found that if I sprayed a very small amount of oil on the rubber stamps, they didn’t stick to the clay and peeled off quite easily. It was then just a matter of trimming them up carefully before putting them on the covered board to dry.

We shall see how they turn out tomorrow and if they’re dry enough to paint and embellish!! I’m quite excited at the thought to be honest… and I may have some lovely handmade embellies for my artwork. 😉


GPP Street Team Crusade No.18 – Cut it out!

The other thing I have become very interested in lately is carving my own stamps. I was ‘talking’ to a cybermate the other night about it. I even bookmarked a website in the UK where I can buy a kit, but I just couldn’t hold out any longer because I somehow ended back up on the GPP Street Team blog! (Yet again!)

I’m so impressed with Michelle Ward’s handcarved stamps – they’re awesome and I hunted everywhere for a rubber (eraser) to carve up. This is the mandate: “Cut It Out – Make a Tool of Your Own: Design and cut a custom stencil or carve an original rubber stamp.”

So here’s my first ever carved eraser rubber stamp, which stamps really cleanly. It ain’t no work of art, but it’s unique to me and not bad for a rubber and a craft knife!! Can’t wait to get some tools and do it properly if this one is anything to go by! It’ll just complement all the stamps I own… how cool is that? 😉

Carve it out!

I enjoyed that so much I shall go back and check out all the other challenges and some of the links of people who participate are amazing. It’s a rollercoaster journey, this art-thing!! 😀

Leave a comment


  1. You are so creative Rosie! Your stamp looks fab! and I can’t wait to see your clay embellies!
    Have a great weekend!
    Nicola xx

  2. rosie – so pleased to hear you are encouraged to make more of your own stamps after taking on your first adventure in carving. if you’ve been visiting the other crusaders you’ve been fairly warned that it is addictive! thanks for coming to play.

  3. hastingshall2

     /  March 29, 2008

    what a neat carved eraser!

  4. Julie

     /  March 29, 2008

    Fabulous stamp…I love it! And I too cannot wait to see how your clay bits turn out.

    Did you source the rubber in the UK? I had so much trouble that I have just stuck to lino which I can get locally. It doesn’t stamp so well though and I either need to mount it on wood or roll it with a rolling pin 😆

    Thanks for sharing

  5. Thanks for your encouragement chaps!!
    Julie – have tried to email you re: supplies, etc. but your email’s bouncing back…. I haven’t managed to find anything other than lino atm, but I’m still looking. I’ll let you know! 😉

  6. Rosie…this stamp is very cool. It’s great that you could use the eraser until your other tools come in. I am sure you will have tons of fun when you get your supplies in.

  7. Hi! Your first ever carving turned out really well, I’m impressed! (Pun intended, but I really mean it!)… especially given that you were working with an eraser… I didn’t have so much luck working w/erasers… so I give you lots of credit… I too, am anxious to see how your clay embellishments turn out… great work!

  8. well done Rosie for having a go with the air dry clay! can’t wait to see your results! if you want things really flat – get yourself a 2nd had pasta machine 🙂 tonnes better than using a rolling pin lol

  9. I love your interpretation of the harlequin design, it looks totally cool and organic. Can’t wait to see what you do when you have more tools! -Kim

  10. OMG that stamp looks FAB!
    I have always wanted to do that! I did in school- but with lino. But i wunna try the rubber ones!
    Cant wait to see your lil clay creations (=
    Have a great week!

  11. Ohhh what a fab idea…amazing…


  12. wow what a fab idea eh?! well done hunni xx

    I just had to pass on an award to you, please see my blog to find out why 🙂

  13. What a wonderful diamonds stamp, you did a great job with the eraser! Air-dry clay does take a bit of get used to, doesn’t it? I’ve found that cornstarch or baby powder are good “release agents” to put on rubber stamps before pressing into air-dry clay, you can also put a little on your work surface. Try working on waxed paper or baking parchment, sometimes it’s easier to lift up your clay pieces afterwards. As they start drying, you can flip the pieces over once in a while to help them dry more evenly. HTH! 🙂

  14. ArtKat – thanks for your helpful hints! They did eventually dry out really well and look great. They also seem to have been conditioned a little by the oil and aren’t brittle (yet!) I have taken the precaution of sealing them in layers in an airtight tub for now! I shall try the baby powder on the mould next time! 😀

  15. carin.c

     /  March 31, 2008

    Your stamp came out great even with limited tools! Hope you get a chance to enjoy making some more!

  16. Isn’t this fun! You can stamp in your clay as well right?

  17. Paula – ’tis what I did… it was unsticking them from the clay that caused the problems at first!!

  1. Crusade #32 – Knock off! «

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