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Tuesday Tips - Making Rubber Stamps

Actually, that would be having rubber stamps made for you. It's fun to take your own art work and make rubber stamps for use in bead and pendant making. You can even use them like you might a plaster mold. It's not even horribly expensive. Those butterfly pendants up there were made from stamps I had made.

Here's an example of two different types of artwork that I've had made into stamps.

The one on the right is the art work for the butterfly pendants. The one on the left is from traditional Korean drawings of Deva flowers. These types of patterns produce very different effects when used with clay. The white spaces on your stamp will be cut away and the black will be raised. It's probably easiest just to show you a photo of how these two images work with clay from the stamps I made.

The butterfly stamp results in a raised pattern on a flat background. The Deva flower results in an impressed pattern. So if you have stamps made for use in your clay work here's a couple of things to consider.

1) Do you want a raised pattern? If I'd wanted to the tracery of the Deva flower raised I would have reversed the black and white in the drawing like this:

2) Think about how you are going to glaze a piece. I don't actually use the Deva flower stamp with clay because I prefer raised patterns. The glazes I use work best this way allowing the glaze to break across the raised edges of a design. But an impressed pattern can be very nice with glazes pooled into the design. The possibilities are kind of endless!

3) If you have a particular size that you'd like your pendant or bead to end up as, you need to think about shrinkage of the clay from wet to final firing. Then you can size your drawing on the computer. For example, my porcelain shrinks about 15% so my drawings are 15% larger than I want them to be in the end. You don't need a graphics program. I do mine in power point using the options to size an image.

So where to get stamps made? If you do an internet search you will come up with dozens of places that make custom rubber stamps. You can even make your own with different systems like photo chemical reactions, and UV lights and so forth. I've never done that but it might be interesting.

Two companies I've used with good results are Rubber Stampst and Ready Stamps.


  1. And beyond that, if you want to have a rustic look to your piece, you can try carving your own. There are stamp carving blocks out there, but you can also use a white eraser.
    (In addition to playing with clay and beads, I also play with rubber stamps at my family's store.)

  2. And you could have a name stamp created too or initials, great post.

  3. Thanks so much for the information...

  4. Great idea-inspiring! You could impress your clay bead,fire it and rub underglaze into the indentations too.

  5. I use Ready stamps and designed a whole sheet. They are wonderful and helpful.


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