There are many types of artistic rubber stamps, though on some level, all rubber stamps are artistic. This type of stamp comes in many forms and designs, some of which are more appropriate for some projects than others. Some artistic rubber stamps are designed by the person using the stamps, increasing personalization. It also is possible to use any type of rubber stamp artistically to create finished arrangements of stamped images that could be considered art.
In general, there are two main types of rubber stamps. The first type are mounted on wooden blocks, and the second are unmounted. Some people include acrylic and foam stamps with rubber stamps, but these are not made of the same materials as traditional rubber stamps. These items can all be used with stamp pads, which makes them very convenient for artistic purposes.
The designs used on artistic rubber stamps can vary greatly. Many stamps portray a small image, such as a piece of fruit, a symbol or an animal, and other stamps are patterned in a regular way and might give the impression of bricks or a starry sky. There also are artistic rubber stamps that include complex scenes, such as forests or portraits. These stamps can be used individually or in combinations to create rubber stamp art.
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Abstract patterns are popular features on artistic rubber stamps. These patterns can be printed over stencils to create unique designs, or they can be used as backgrounds for other projects. It is possible to find background stamps in many designs, and with creative use, these can be quite versatile.
Many artists use blank rubber blocks to create original artistic rubber stamps. Carving the rubber at home involves a process much like making a linoleum print, but it also is possible to order custom stamps from online stores. Custom stamps of this type allow the artist to design the image that will be printed on the stamp using a computer, making certain designs easier to produce. Which method is more appropriate depends on the design and the artist's intention.
An artist can use rubber stamps in various artistic ways as well. For example, text stamps can be combined to create images, or different stamps can be layered to create scenes. For this reason, it typically is not necessary to differentiate between artistic rubber stamps and normal rubber stamps. Even functional stamps, such as those used in businesses, can be incorporated into art. The artistic content is often not in the stamp itself but in how the stamp is used.