Sunday, March 18, 2007

Printing Blocks - Plumbers Gasket

Some people cut lino blocks for printing, but I remember cutting lino blocks in high school art class and thought it was tough material to cut, resulting in a lot of bloody fingers.

My preference is using plumbers gasket material, a rubber sheet that can be found in a hardware store. It comes in sheets up to 12" square. It is easy to mark a design on the rubber. It can be cut to your desired shape and size with scissors. It carves very easily with a linoleum cutter (no bleeding!)

After I have my design cut, I mount it to a flat block of wood using water resistant double sided carpet tape - also found at the hardware store. This keeps the stamp surface flat for a good print, and because it is water resistant - it holds up well to multiple washings.

The resulting block is very easy to use. I like to pour several colors of paint onto my palette (a disposable foam plate) and use a foam paintbrush to daub the paint on the block. With this technique, I am able to achieve a nice variety of shades and colors with each printing. For best results, use a padded surface for printing on fabric.

I usually stamp with a variety of acrylic and fabric paints including my favorite - Jacquard Lumiere metallics. Clean up is easy with soap and water and an old toothbrush.

11 comments:

Plain Jane said...

great, clear instructions and a beautiful result. thanks!

Liz said...

What a brilliant idea - I'm off to my local hardware shop asap!! And I love your designs...

Gerrie said...

Thanks, I want to try this. I have been using erasers to make stamps, but this sounds much better and I can make larger designs.

Susan D said...

I got you blog from Liz at Dreaming Spirals. I've just bought lino to try making a printing block but I'll be getting some gasket material to try asap.

p.t. said...

Wow,will try this. Thanks.

Judy Rys said...

Very clever. Thanks for sharing.

donnatella said...

Thanks, I'm off to the home depot as well for this "plumbers gasket"!

MargaretR said...

I must find some of this stuff too!
Lovely designs.

Rosie said...

Thanks for a fabulous, clear guide! I'm going to try asking for this next time I'm near a hardware store... although I'll probably get some strange looks, as I'm in the UK, but I shall try anyway.
I agree with you about the lino, which is unfortunately all I've managed to find so far!! Not to worry - where there's a will... ;-]

Brooklyn plumber said...

That's really brilliant. That could really work for every plumbers. It's a neat and clean idea.

Will said...

Love your blog! I've been doing a lot of research into gasket material and this has really helped. Thank you!