100 Days of Hand-Carved Stamps: Week 13 Update

It's hard to believe the finish line is right around the corner. But I've still got some hand-carved prints from Week 13 to share with y'all. This week yielded 7 new stamps, including a fun, new tesselating shape! Read on to learn more about the inspiration and see all the amazing prints that were stamped this week!

85/100: Skinny + Text

"Play is the highest form of research."
-Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist
A day of printing PLAY! This carve started with a wedge-shaped scrap with my creative mantra: Play! I really enjoy printing wedge shape blocks as they create wonderful movement and lots of pattern potential! Here they are stacked in columns, including some ghost prints. 

And wedges work well in radiating designs including pinwheels!

86/100: Triangle + Artist's Choice

"Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist/Philosopher
It's always fun to explore each carved shape to create whole new patterns! Equilateral triangles offer lots of pattern potential, especially when you incorporate ghost prints.

87/100: Circle + Repeat Patterns

"If you throw the pebble in the pond and the rings start circulating that much wider, you've done things and created things for people that they didn't think they'd ever be able to do. That excites me."
-Mindy Grossman, former CEO of WW International
Carving interlocking rings...mesmerizing!! This design reminds me of a Winding Ways quilt I made many years ago. A pencil eraser was used to stamp the smaller circles.

88/100: Skinny + Artist's Choice

"Action is the foundational key to all success."
-Pablo Picasso, Spanish Painter
Taking action on a number of fronts today...including a new carved block. I regret not taking a photo of the original scrap of soft carving block, as it very much resembled a house key, including a jagged edge. My key ring provided design inspiration with a few creative liberties taken along the way. This was another versatile block offering lots of pattern play.

89/100: Square + Nature

There aren't many squares in nature, so I was initially stumped on what to carve and print. Thankfully there was plenty of design inspiration to be locally sourced from my own backyard. Most of these succulents have been harvested over the years from Santa Cruz to the many garden refuse piles along our neighborhood walks. Being native plants, they have thrived over the past few years of California's drought situation. 

It was fun to use different ink colors and ghost prints to capture the many varieties of succulents. The prints below remind me of all the containers of succulants available at garden stores, as well as crocheted granny squares!
“In some Native languages the term for plants translates to 'those who take care of us.'"
-Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, American Author of "Braiding Sweetgrass" and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology
The selected quote was especially appropriate as I was registered to watch "Braiding Sweetgrass - an evening with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer" later in the week. The event was hosted by the Peninsula Open Space Trust in partnership with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe in the Bay Area. It was a lovely talk that spoke to how the land cares for us and we in turn have a responsibility to care for the land.

90/100: Artist's Choice + Pattern/Repetition

"Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it."
-Horace Mann, American educational reformer, slavery abolitionist, and politician known for his commitment to promoting public education
Time flies when you are having fun and here I am still going strong on Day 90 in my daily carving/printing habit. I decided to try carving a tessalating bowtie shape. It fit together pretty well to create a woven look, especially when ghost prints were used.

Of course, there were other layouts to explore

91/100: Circle + Lines

"People only see what they are prepared to see."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist/Lecturer
The more I printed this simple carved block, the more I began to see: Ants/spiders, masks/faces/eyes, and basketballs. I'd love to hear what images you recognize in the prints below.

Of course, I couldn't resist layering different ink colors to create even more spectacular prints.

At first I reached for my favorite inks, but decided to pull out some more to revisit a few other color combinations. Yeah--Charming Pink and Paradise Tsukineko VersaFine Claire inkpads are still one of my favorite combinations (with Warm Breeze and Purple being a very close #2 favorite).

Here are all 91 printed designs. Do you have any new favorites this week? It keeps getting harder to choose which are my favorites: A good problem to have!


  1. I'm so impressed with your work, Mel. Beautiful! It's a joy to watch your skills develop and realize how we can all improve with a good plan. You are an inspiration.

    1. Thanks Ann...it's been fun to look back on all the progression in my carving and printing skills! There has been so much learning with each and every day's carving/printing session. So happy to see you back to blogging!!


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