Thursday, April 06, 2006

Book Review - Art Stamping Workshop by Gloria Page

Art Stamping Workshop

Art Stamping Workshop: Create Hand-Carved Stamps for Unique Projects on Paper, Fabric, Polymer Clay and More

by Gloria Page
Publisher: F & W Publications, 2006
ISBN: 1581806965; Paperback: 128 pages
Reviewed By Kim M. Bayne
Rating: ★★★★★
These days, with so many books on the market, it’s rare when I can pick up a new paper crafts title and actually see myself doing the majority of projects. Even rarer when I actually start doing most of them shortly after browsing.

Before I came across “Art Stamping Workshop” by Gloria Page, I was my usual skeptical self. My paper crafts style is an eclectic mix of shabby chic and whatever found art I almost threw away. In other words, it’s unlikely that some cutesy project book will appeal to me. Guess what? Gloria’s projects are anything but “cute.” Think simple yet stylish, creative yet uncluttered, and best of all, you’ll come away with a ton of new ideas. For example, I loved her Magnetic Bookmark Card project (page 48) -- the card incorporates two paper bookmarks into its design, so this work of art is practical as well.

Gloria’s Workshop demonstrates everything from how to carve your own stamps out of soft-block carving material – her photographs make these 20 projects look so simple, even the novice won’t be shy about carving – to rubber stamping with Staz-On Ink right on rocks. I was so inspired; I started gathering rocks outside my home so I could decorate the yard. My creations, based on the River Rock project (page 90) must have looked great because a few of them went missing in a few hours. Oh, well!

Gloria didn’t stop at altering rocks, either. A ceramic white tile, a plain wooden frame from the crafts store, and miscellaneous fabrics all became the recipients of Gloria’s unique stamping style. And no corner was left unexplored...literally. Gloria even decorated scrapbook photo corners with stamped triangles. There’s enough in this book to keep an altered art mind busy for weeks, if not months.

Now about the images in this book…all very clear and well photographed, with great lighting. I had no problem seeing the up-close details of an artist’s journal embellished with stamped craft sticks or a star ornament stamped out of polymer clay. Gloria’s pages left nothing to the imagination, except of course, for how you’ll apply her wonderful techniques and style to your own original projects. And if you're at a loss for how to outfit your crafts area for these projects, the author has included a few pages with more than a dozen material ideas for carving your own stamps.

If you’re a paper person, fabric fanatic or altered artist at heart, take heart! There’s something here for you. From the beginner to the advanced crafter, you’ll find a new way to look at rubber stamping. Gloria’s book is well worth the time and price. But beware – once you pick it up, nothing in your house will be safe from rubber and ink.

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Article Description: Learn how to carve your own stamps for unusual projects on a variety of surfaces