There are two questions that I am most commonly asked when it comes to making a stamp. The first is 'can you make me a stamp from my image?' and the answer is mostly yes. The second is 'How long does it take?' so I thought I'd explain the process and why I make in batches.
When someone sends me their artwork I check it to make sure that it converts nicely to the black and white format I need and that it will be scalable to the size of stamp they want. I then make it into a negative which means I flip the colours round so that it's white on a black background on the screen and I arrange it so that I can make a batch. The sheets of gel that my stamps are made from come in paper sizes (e.g. A5, A6 etc) and once they're used you can't come back to them later so you need to fill a sheet. I most commonly make A6 sheets but at busy times of year I make A5s too.
Getting a batch together might only take a day or so but to be as efficient as possible, I only make twice a week. This keeps prices low as an A5 sheet costs a lot less than lots of A8 sheets and overall it saves time processing them together in this way too.
The batches are put together on a Monday or a Thursday and that gives a little bit of time to make sure artwork is correct and that it will work just as you want it. Some images need a little more back and forth than others but that's good as I'd much rather it was right first time.
The actual stamp doesn't take that long to make, only a few seconds on one side, about 3 minutes on the other and 3 minutes to make sure it's fully set. Then it's all about testing them and preparing the handle.
Each stamp is test printed three times. I stamp once on the envelope that I keep the used negative in (I keep these in case I have to remake one), once on a white sticker that goes with the stamp to you and finally I stamp it once on the wooden handle. If any of these don't come out right then they get a super close inspection to see what the issue is. Sometimes I'm just being cack-handed. Sometimes there is fluff on the stamp, which can happen to a fresh stamp because they're a bit sticky at first, but overall the stamp is fine. If for whatever reason it's not stamping right, then I make it again!
Finally I attach some double sided tape so I can fix the stamp die to the handle. Once the handle is attached they're ready to pack.
Each stamp is packed in a recyclable paper bag with a postcard that includes care information and a test print of your stamp (or a space to practice wax seals if you've bought a seal). These are then all collected up ready for me to do a post run to the post office – another reason why working in batches is the most efficient way of doing things. Everything is sent with Royal Mail who are, in my opinion, absolutely bloody brilliant really!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight in to my process and how I work. Personally I love reading posts like this so fingers crossed you have too. And if you’ve got an idea for a stamp that you’d love to have or that would make your life that little bit easier then do get in touch!