Saturday, March 26, 2011

Work In Progress - Experiments With Rubber Stamps On Bookcloth

Experiments Ink Book Cloth

Its about time that I posted some work in progress. At this stage I have pretty much decided the content and form of the book. A lot of it is going to be printed using rubber stamps and I want to stamp the cover so have been experimenting with this on book cloth. Here are some photos of my efforts. Only one of the stamps here will be used for the book - the pink one - the others are stamps I made before and I was just using them for testing the ink.

The above was an experiment I did using book cloth from Hewit's - Arlington book cloth, which has been discontinued unfortunately. I don't like the replacement 'Edinburgh' book cloth half as much. Anyways, this has a special coating to protect it so it doesn't absorb the ink - which I expected. I tried 2 types of ink - just an normal ink pad and also a special one for fabric (pictured below) - the fabric one came out the best, but even when it was dry you could see that it was still sitting on top of the cloth.

In case anybody's wondering what the little purple packet with the teddy bear on it is - its some baby wipes, which apparently is the best (and cheapest - 90p for these ones) way to clean your stamps.

Practice Stitch Binding & Experiment Rubber Stamps on Bookcloth

I have made a complete mock up of the signatures in miniature (below) and also been trying to devise the kind of stitch I want for the book. I want to do a sewn through the spine binding again with a very simple series of stitches along the spine. I couldn't find anything like this in any of my books so thought I'd have a go myself. It is still in a very experimental stage and I could totally change my mind about this once I've made a mock up of the book. Below you can see my initial diagram of the stitch and above was a practice one I did sewing through some thin card. Its nothing fancy but I just want a very simple stitch.

I got the best results from stamping with the fabric ink and book cloth from Falkiners (grey cloth above) which is paper backed and apparently can be put through an inkjet printer. However, this does not have any protective treatment in order for it to be receptive to ink. I've done some experiments with Scotchguard and sprayed it after I stamped it. I also carried out the test they advised on the tin to see if a small drop of water beads on the surface and it does. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has experience of this and the big question - what about acidity, alkalinity and archival quality?? Scotchguard will undoubtedly protect the book cloth but I have no idea if its acidic or this will affect the cloth long term. There are no ingredients on the tin - so if anyone has any ideas or knowledge of this I'd love to know.

Stitching Diagram & Book Mock Up

I have included the photo below to show an experiment with stamping on a darker colour book cloth and the stamp turned on its side. The stamp was a bit wobbly so I wanted something to back it - there are all sorts of expensive dense foam you can buy to do this but I used some polystyrene which came with pizza packaging (the circular bit they put under the pizza). Its light, solid and was easy to glue onto the back of the stamp and can be easily removed too - and its recycling! So there you have it, my efforts thus far. I feel like I've got so much to do my head is spinning! But I will stick to my own personal motto - stop whining and just get on with it ;-)

Experiments Ink Book Cloth


ronnie said...

juicy post!

I've never tried stamping book cloth (I have tried making my own book cloth, starched cotton fabric, backed with rice paper...) thatnks for sharing your experiments so far.... its really interesting .... I'm looking forward to seeing how your project is resolved - have fun!

Carol said...

Yes, great post. I hadn't thought of using baby wipes to clean stamps but as we have babies here, there are lots of wipes that get used for just about everything. I haven't tried stamping or printing book cloth but it's certainly worth experimenting. I bought some 'ezy carve printing blocks' the other day so I'm going to try that. You may, or may not, see my results.

Abigail Thomas said...

Yay stamps! Angela; I have tried stamping book cloth but so far only testers. I also use that Versacraft ink pad thats suppose to be for all surfaces inc. fabrics; but have you tried heat setting it on the book cloth? you know that archive tape I used the stamps on, well I heat set that and it makes the ink sink into the cloth a bit more I think. When I have tried out a small sample on book cloth I used a paper backed cloth from Faulkiners and ironed it to heat set; I was worried that it would affect the paper backing but it didn't seem to.
I also use pizza bases but I use them as bases to punch holes into paper, card and my signatures when I use my awl. Free and great use of recycling!
Looks like you really getting somewhere; cannot wait to see more.

Angela said...

I was thinking about fixing it with heat too because it says that on the instructions for fabric - but is there any need? I thought the only reason you would need to do this is if you were going to wash the fabric - and I am not going to be washing my book ;-) As I remember from doing this before with fabric you need a high heat setting to fix the ink - it looks like its taken it OK already. I suppose I could give it ago to see what it looks like. Thanks for the advice :-)

Carol even if you don't want to share your experiments I would like to know how you found the Ezy carve to work with. I need to buy something like this for some of my larger stamps. The Works have run out of the Big Mistakes rubbers I was using which is a shame. They cut beautifully and I managed to cut some very fine text with them if you remember one of the older posts on my blog.

Does anyone have any experience of using Scotchguard on book cloth? Or know anything about how it would affect the archival quality of the book?

Abigail Thomas said...

Re heat; no maybe there is no point as you are right you are not going to wash the book! Its just seemed to me that the ink sank in to the fabric a bit more when I did it. Not sure if thats the effect you are after though?

No ideas on the scotchguard front sorry.

Liz Davidson / Artist Notebook said...

Hi Angela re your paper backed fabric that you put through your ink jet printer, there are some wonderful products from Golden called Digital Ground, clear, gloss and white that you can coat almost any material that can go through your printer and they really increase the print quality, they also suggest a protective UV coating, which I am pretty sure they also make. Your project sound amazing and looking forward to seeing more.

Angela said...

Thanks Liz - I will check this out. Its always good to hear about new things to try :-)