Here is an example of stamped calligraphy (this is kokotsubun shell and bone style). You can stamp on your shodo calligraphy, artwork, poetry or sutra copying, or anything else you fancy 😊
This example is of stamped artwork by Blair was inspired by the dynamic skyline of Tokyo, using Japanese gansai pigments.
To join our stamp making online by zoom, you only need pencil and paper to get started. Enjoy and practice working with traditional tenkoku 篆刻 materials or the simpler keshigomu eraser to carve your very own hanko はんこ stamp.
In this video Blair has fun stamping a few papers, using the L shape to guide the alignment of stamps for shodo (very handy!), whilst going for a more squinty off angle approach on the artwork, and stamping in the middle of an enso circle.
Stamping is such fun, the physical pressing down and moment of suspense to see the stamp impression. After first designing the 印 – such as name or artist name, then carving or cutting into stone or eraser. It is enjoyable to work on each part of the process.
Blair is carving his zen name, using the insho clamp and into cutter. He can help you translate and choose suitable katakana Japanese or Chinese characters for your own name 😊
This picture is of some reisho 隷書 calligraphy Blair was stamping a few days ago✨
At our first regular 篆刻 tenkoku (seal engraving) group on zoom we had fun pioneering Japanese and Chinese stamp making online! This time we mainly worked on designs for our in 印 stamps.
After a short intro by Blair to the practice, his experience of it in Japan, and the history of it in China, we learned how to take our initial ideas and then work with kanji characters, and combine in certain ways using the old styles.
He showed some of his stamps he has made over the years, ones with his name in Katakana, Bu-re-a, others with artist name or his zen dharma name.
The designing is such an enjoyable and fascinating part of the process when you can engage with kanji Chinese characters that are thousands of years old, and discover their varied styles and choose which ones, adjusting the sizes and shapes to suit your personal design. And some stamps can use simpler Japanese script, or English, or images, so the options are really boundless.
It was fascinating to see how different each person’s designs were – with characters for mountain, sky/ emptiness, fish, crow, and hand there was a lot of images coming through the tensho style of characters and the other stamp styles.
So we swam together through deep waters and soared over peaceful fields towards distant hills 🙂
Towards the end Blair gave a short demo about how to use traditional materials – stones and cutter – as well as the alternative and popular ‘Keshigomu hanko’ method cutting an eraser with craft knife.
At this group participants work at their own pace and Blair guides them, so each person will design or carve or press their stamps – the ‘try not to hold your breath’ moment 🙂 – at different times. It is an easygoing and supportive group.
On a blustery day with the March sun shining through the clouds into the garden and our cozy workspace, we enjoyed practicing Tenkoku 篆刻 seal carving to create our own stamps or inkan (more commonly known as hanko).
It is a captivating process and was wonderful to see everyone embracing it, from the design of their stamps on paper to the stone carving technique and the method of inking and pressing the stone onto Japanese paper.
We learned about the history of Japanese and Chinese stamp making and looked at varied examples and the ways of numerous of working with the tensho style of characters, and working with names or making natural designs.
In the quiet moments while everyone was working we could hear the echoes of the chipping sounds of the cutters on the stone and also of the participants enthusiastically blowing the dust off the face of their stones!
It was inspiring to be surrounded by the elemental trees and hills with all the textures and colours and breathing the fresh woodland air.