Take a sheet of clay. Lay it down on a piece of wax paper on your work surface. I use a marble slab as a workspace since I have very hot little hands. Ink up your stamp, lay it on the clay, and apply a steady even pressure. Be careful not to move the stamp while you are applying pressure. Lift the stamp straight up and admire your work! If you are going to make another ornament, re-ink your stamp again and proceed the same way.
Separate your ornaments, then cut away the excess clay. I use small ceramic tiles to work on. It gives me the ability to move the ornament around as I work, without adding more fingerprints or indentations. I cut the clay away with an Exacto knife, but many different tools could be used. The illustration shows (top left) cut away from the group; (top right) cut away the excess; (bottom) cut close to the edges of the stamp. Try to keep your edges as even as possible, this will make it easier to stamp the other side of the ornament.
This is how I stamp the second side of the ornament. If you prefer, you can leave one side blank and stamp it after the first side is cured. But when the ornament is symmetrical, I like to stamp both sides before baking.
A. Stamp your image on a piece of paper, lay a piece of wax paper over it, and butt it up against a hard edge to use as a guide.
B. Put your ornament stamped side down and center it on the wax paper on top of the stamped paper ornament. Carefully line up your inked stamp and apply pressure.
C. With a little luck and a lot of planning you can get your image stamped just about in the center of the ornament! If you are an avid stamper and you have a stamp positioner, I would have to say you don't need to read this section. As yet, I don't have a stamp positioner, but I'd be willing to test one for any company that would like to know if they really work!(BIG GRIN).
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