Chinese seal carving: rubber stamps

A year ago I took a workshop to learn how to carve rubber stamps. The motivation for learning was as a stepping stone for carving seals. I decided to give it a try.

I used Blick Readycut for these stamps. The material has a grey upper layer and a white lower layer. To create the stamp, the grey layer is carved away.

In seal carving, there are two styles. 朱文 means red characters. 白文 means white characters. I tried both. I did 月 (the character for moon) in 甲骨文 (oracle bone script) and 篆書 (seal script).

Here are the 甲骨文 examples:

And the 篆書 examples:

I think it’s a pretty good start. The 朱文 style is definitely more difficult. Rubber is pretty flimsy, and the cut away portions would always touch the ink pad or paper when I pressed down. The material is also pretty thin. It’s probably not the best for 朱文.

This was a fun exercise. The stamps are not as small as regular seals, but I don’t think I have fine enough tools to do something that small on rubber. It does make me want to learn more about 甲骨文 since I have not practiced it my calligraphy studies.

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