Monday, October 20, 2014

Carving Stamps With Julie Balzer

I had a very artful weekend, taking 3 classes with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer of Balzer Designs at Bizzy B.  The first one, on Friday night, was called "Stamp Carving 101" and totally lived up to its name.

I've carved stamps before; I even have a cute little box full of supplies.
However, I realized last week as I was packing my supplies for class that I haven't actually carved anything since 2012.  I thought taking this course would be a good way to refresh my memory about what to do and how to do it.  Boy, was I surprised.  This class was so informative, I learned a lot more than I expected and certainly a lot that I hadn't known before.  I also had a lot of fun doing it.
Julie is a very energetic teacher. She has a lot of experience and talent for making art and is excited to share what she knows with her students.  The good news is, she starts at the very beginning and walks you through everything step-by-step, and is happy to answer questions at any stage of the process. Here she is showing us how to change the blade on our carving tool.
She also has a great sense of humour, of which her pencil case is just one example.
At the end of class, we all stamped various blank sheets of paper so we could each take a sheet home that had samples of everyone's carvings.  I'm hoping to try my hand at some of these designs, they are all just so fabulous. (Julie's fabulous handmade stamps on the left - check out the ones for the days of the week!! - examples of my fellow students' talent on the right.)
I also picked up a copy of Julie's new book, "Carve Stamp Play" (available on Amazon).

which she kindly autographed for each of us who bought a copy.  There are lots of great techniques in the book for taking your stamp carving to the next level, I can't wait to try them out.  Stay tuned!

The moment I knew Julie's teaching had been successful was when I was playing in my journal on Sunday night after I had come home from class and found myself wishing I could add a row of dots to the page I was working on.  I didn't have a marker the right size or colour for what I wanted but suddenly it occurred to me, why not carve myself what I wanted? So I did, right there and then.  I made this little stamp, with two sizes of dots, and then set about stamping with it in my journal.
I was so excited, both with the fact that I could do it and with the result on my journal page! Thank you, Julie, for the inspiration!

1 comment:

carol l mckenna said...

Stamping can be great fun and creative ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)