Earlier this summer, I was paying a visit to Paper Source in Birmingham when I saw a collection of intriguing stamps from AHA Arts. The clear-cling stamps caught my eye thanks to the relaxed, print-friendly designs and whimsical shapes. I picked up a few sets and enjoyed testing them out, as did my friends. The designs looked great on paper; what a find! I knew I wanted to learn more about AHA Arts, so I set out for a bit of Internet investigating.
|I wasn't surprised in the slightest when I found that A Beautiful Mess had a lovely write-up of the stamps around the holidays. While the stamps were newer to Paper Source, ABM blogger Elsie had reviewed them back in December with the best description I could think of – offbeat. That was it exactly! From swoops to swishes and flowers to polka dots, the stamps easily lend themselves to creative exploration.|
|At just under $15 for a set of stamps, these are a great way to build up your family's stamping stash. If you haven't used clear stamps like this before, you'll need an acrylic block to mount the stamp for use. Being able to see where you're stamping is ideal for perfect placement and newbie stampers. Over time, these stamps tend to be less expensive than traditional wood-mounted stamps.|
|I found that the stamps produced a clean, almost silkscreen-like look every time. They can be stored on the piece of plastic they are packaged on for quick clean up. And speaking of cleaning, a damp cloth to remove the ink and a dry cloth to dry them off is all you need.|
If you're looking for some non-traditional stamps to offer your children, take a look at AHA Arts. You can find sets at area Paper Source locations or at AHA Arts' Etsy shop.
I was lucky enough to ask AHA Arts creator Ashley Goldberg a few questions about inspiration and crafting to share here on Make It.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and AHA Arts.
Hello! My name is Ashley Goldberg or "Ashley G" professionally. I am an artist and pattern designer living in the lovely green and gray city of Portland, Oregon. When I am not creating and drawing I can be found thrifting, drinking too much coffee, staying up too late, taking too many pictures of my dog, Lyle, and working on home improvement projects on my Cape Cod revival.
I work with fun clients creating everything from wall art to bed linens to clothing to stamps! Some of my clients include Urban Outfitters, The Land of Nod, Serena & Lily and School House Electric Co.
What made you decide to create a line of stamps?
I have admired the scrapbooking/memory keeping/paper crafting world for a very long time. I think many people look at art as a gray scale where you have fine art on one end and crafting somewhere near the other end. But I disagree. I think it is more of a Venn diagram where all types of art overlap and intersect at different points. It's those points of intersection that interest me most. And really, the crafting world just comes out with the best products. While I don't ever feel that I make art with a capital "A", so to speak, I do my fair share of gallery work. Many of my favorite tools come from the crafting world not the fine art.
In an effort to explore that more, I created a stamp line based on my illustrations and deconstructing some of my patterns. I wanted to see how artists, crafters and makers put them to use in their own unique way. It's not much different from how a company takes one of my patterns but makes it their own through the application (What surface it goes on. What fabric they use. If they change the colors or scale.)
Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
I love folk art, vintage children's book, abstract painters, Scandinavian design and nature. And, of course, the Internet.
Do you have a favorite stamping technique?
Oh, that's easy! Embossing. I think it is easy, low cost, and has SUCH a wow factor for both the stamper and anyone receiving the card/craft/item made with embossing on it.
Do you have any advice for young crafters interested in creating their own stamps?
I would start with making your own stamps to test them. You don't have to carve them. You can use craft foam. Just cut the foam into any shape you want, create details by indenting it with a pencil and then use double sided tape to adhere it to a piece of cardboard and stamp away.
Anything new on your radar?
I am designing a lot of fun new products, including stamps for Studio Calico for the fall.