Stamp making or block printing inspiration

I had never seen these amazing wooden stamps that are used for traditional Indian textiles.
Clearly they are the work of very skilled craftspeople, but you could probably get something somewhat similar with multiple stamps cut on a Glowforge.


Block printing is just one of the many things my daughter is excited about when it comes to my GF.

Wow, these are gorgeous, thanks for sharing!

I have a very basic one of those stamps!

I am not skilled at using it though. They made it seem easy to line up the stamps, amazing!


It looks to me that the GF will only make a part of the process simple. You will still need the design ability to come up with the original design and there appears to be a LOT of ability used in the rest of the process. Having the block is one thing but getting just the right amount of color on it, getting it placed, without sliding, in the correct position, getting just the right amount of pressure, and more that I am sure is in there but I am not seeing. It would take a long time to learn that, even longer if you have nobody to teach you.


@peter_williams I absolutely agree. The Glowforge is just a tool, and it will only help with part of the process. You still need to be committed to learning all the things required to use that tool effectively. The only way to achieve mastery in any craft is to practice.

At the same time, I can easily imagine ways to make some parts of this process simpler.
The traditional craftspeople are talented and skilled enough to not need registration aides. I may not be, but that does not mean I can’t figure out how to make a registration system to help me get things right. Having a Glowforge that lets me rapidly prototype my ideas makes that even easier.


Awesome and inspiring videos, thanks @jkopel !!!

Just spent half an hour watching block printing youtube videos with the kids, then ordered some long sleeve T-shirts…

Agree completely with @jkopel … There is still so a lot to learn about the process, but I think that the magic of the Glowforge is that it takes a large part of the challenge of a lot of these projects away. Without the Glowforge, you would need the ability to precisely replicate an intricate design in wood – no small feat. The above example means you would have to do that several times. With it, you can make the wood stamps easily, then you have one less (giant) obstacle in the way. The other half of the magic is confidence. Instead of starting from scratch with nothing, you have a big first step of the project done with a tool that you are comfortable with. I sometimes think the biggest barrier to people being creative and making things is the lack of confidence that something remotely good looking would come out of it. I know that the Glowforge is an amazing tool, but I really truly hope that the Glowforge is something that gives that confidence to people to create amazing things.

@kim1032 your stamp is gorgeous!


Also, it’s pretty easy to set up a laser-cut frame to go over the top of the material so that multiple stamps each align with the other.


Inspiring stuff @jkopel - I look forward to trying out some block prints on fabric - such amazing craftsmanship shown in those videos.

We stumbled on a market today that had prints. Turned out they were woodblock indian prints. My kids got all excited that they were just like the ones in the video, and the artist gave them freebies to inspire their own art. (Which was a smart move because they were $1 freebies, and then I bought $20 worth of stuff).


On my Seattle trip I went to the Fremont street market on Sunday and took pictures o; everything. It was such a hub of inspiration.

@dan, one of the ways to make the printing process itself easier is to cut the blocks out of a clear material, like acrylic, so you can see what you’re printing as the block is hitting the fabric. It makes it a billion times easier to get the alignment/registration right.

If you’re going to use multiple printing blocks at the same time (say, you’re making a line of images), you can make a jig to clamp them all together. That lets you line up the images as you want, and get them to print all at once, and print the same way every time.

If you have very small stamps, you can use a temporary adhesive like Blu Tack (oh, how I love Blu Tack) on each of the back corners of the stamp block, then stick the stamp block to a block of acrylic that’s big enough to easily hold onto. That way, you can use the second block as a handle–one that’s see-through. If you do this, though, it would probably be easier to just cut the block out of something opaque, and then engrave its image into the back of the block as well, so you can see it more easily.

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