Thursday, August 30, 2007

Midnight Garden - Jacket - Part VIII

Templates, Part 3

This is the last of template mini-series! While this last group is technically not a template, it still serves the same purpose: to provide an accurate, consistent image every time the template is used. Here are the last of the templates, the rubber stamps for embossing the velvet:

Yes, those are hand carved. I purchase blocks at Michael's craft store that are intended to be carved for block printing or stamping. Before any carving is done, I decide how I want the final image to look. For example, if I carved away everything but the flower (which I did), I end up with a flower stamp. If I carved away the flower, but left the surrounding portion of the stamp, I'd end up with a negative image of a flower, with a stamped solid border around it. To emboss velvet, you need a stamp that has a raised image, so I carved away everything but the flower or leaf.

To begin, I use tracing paper to transfer the traced image to the block:

Once the image is transferred, the carving can begin. The carving begins with carving around the outline with a narrow blade. All the carving is done with a linoleum cutter. The one I have has interchangeable blades so that I can make fine cuts or wide cuts. After carving the outline, I switch to a wider blade and carve away everything but the flower. Once the excess rubber block is removed from around the image, I use a fine blade to carve in details. I then trim the stamp to roughly the shape of the stamp - this helps with positioning it when actually using it.

Below, you'll see some samples of embossing made with my new stamps. I'm still using that sample piece of velvet, so they're not the greatest. It is good enough for me to see if the details of the stamps are sharp enough.

Now, if the silk would get here and I could find the right navy blue velvet, I'd be set. I think I've found a few online sources for the velvet. I'm looking for rayon/acetate in navy blue. From what I've seen and read, the rayon/acetate works really well for stamping. I've got to check one more source I just thought of, and then make a decision as to what to purchase. It's not an easy decision at $20.00+ per yard, especially when I need 5 yards.

Parting Shot: Unexpected surprise! A while ago, Patsijean emailed me and wanted to know if I'd like some back issues of Quilting Arts. I just started a subscription last year, and don't have any of the back issues. She's been doing the "reduce, reuse, recycle" thing and has gifted them to me. What I didn't expect in the box was the extra fabrics she sent me as well! The plaid taffetas are really wonderful - those nice ones are getting harder to find! There's also a stripe and piece of lacey fabric with stars. The larger gold piece is a crinkly with a really interesting texture. I already have some plans for that gold. There's not enough for a vintage dress, but there is enough for a bodice! I have had this stuff for a week, but haven't shared it because I got backlogged with the starting of school, so I apologize for not posting it sooner. Thank you so much, Patsijean!


jill said...

I've always wanted to try embossing velvet. Guess I'll be adding some velvet to the shopping list. ;o)

Lovely gift box too! hwp

Vicki W said...

The embossing stamps are excellent. I really like the vein detail on the leaf. Those new fabrics are wonderful!

Vicki said...

What is embossing? Do you stamp ink/paint onto the fabric? The velvet just looks pressed into the shape.

Isabelle said...

That is brilliant! I never stop being amazed at your creativity. Do you come up with such techniques by yourself, or do you read about them somewhere, or - both, perhaps?

Lovely fabrics! :)

designdreamer said...

You continue to amaze me! I knew about embossing, but I had no idea you could buy the rubber and carve your own! But then again not many of us would feel comfortable doing our own. I made my own beads once.

Kirsty said...

Hi Summerset,
I couldn't resist stopping by after you commented on my Sew Retro post. We could be stunt doubles!
I would be more than happy to be mistaken for you with your awsome velvet embossing prowess...

Tany said...

Summerset, your embossing samples look great! I can only try to imagine the final outcome on Midnight Garden!
How nice of Patsijean and the fabrics look fabulous!