My View – Evolution of the Rubber Stamp Style.

My View – Evolution of the Rubber Stamp Style.

Time Travel

Regardless, if you are new to the stamping world or you are a long-time stamper, this article may intrigue you. I will start by saying that I have been involved with Stampin’ Up! and paper crafting for about 20 or so years now. Is your stamp set arsenal filled with different types and size cases, along with sets that are on wood and some not? Well, I thought it would be fun to discuss the evolution of stamps…at least from my view.
Stampin’ Up! currently has two different stamp types. (Hint: they are the last 2 listed.) But before going into the current types, let’s jump in the time machine and go back 20 years. I will actually be writing in present tense, solely for the fact that all the stamps that I will be discussing are still in existence. You may no longer be able to purchase them new, but they are still floating around in the rubber stamping and paper crafting world. At least there are still some in my craft room.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. I’m okay and made it safely, is everyone okay? Did you make the flight with me in one piece?
Let’s start with, we’ll call them Traditional Wood-Mount Stamps.

When I first started stamping this is what you were able to purchase. If you are familiar with Stampin’ Up! in the earlier days, you know about the wood-mount stamps.

THE SET: Each set comes with the same number of wood blocks as there are number of stamps in the set. And they come in a bulky plastic case. Traditional wood-mount stamps are stamps on a foam-backed red rubber sheet that you have to pull apart and have to trim the rubber close to the image. You trim the excess rubber off because you don’t want it! While inking your stamp you could easily get extra ink on your stamped image where you DO NOT want ink.

CUTTING: When cutting the excess rubber it is suggested that you make straight cuts around the stamp image. Trying to cut rounding could actually damage the stamp image. Oh, and you defiantly need to use Craft & Rubber Scissors. Other type scissors DOES NOT do the trick. Tried it, doesn’t work.

MATCHING STAMPS and BLOCKS: It is highly recommend before mounting any stamps, that you match up all the stamps with the appropriate block. Next you match each stamp and label. After you are sure you have the correct stamp with the correct label and the correct wood block, get busy mounting the stamp on one side and the label on the other side of the wood block.
Did you know that rubber stamping also involves being a master at puzzles? It really does, sometimes it is a puzzle getting all the stamps back in the case. Each stamp set also has a label with the name and how many stamps is in the set. Depending on how you store these type stamps, apply the stamp set label to the box where it fits best for you. And can I say cut, cut, cut and sore fingers?! 
So, after many painstaking hours of cutting and cutting and sore fingers, low and behold, look, here is what I will call the Next Generation Wood Mount stamps. YAY!!!
THE SET: These stamps are still made of the foam-backed red rubber and come in a sheet, BUT they are now die-cut and you just pop them out. They still have to be mounted on the coordinating sized wood block, but it makes putting the sets together much easier. So we are happy now right?
Okay, so I thought we are happy with this new style rubber stamp but oh no, look a new stamp style. With this one let’s get thrown for a loop…introducing the Clear-mount Stamps.
THE SET: Again the Clear-mount Stamps are made from a high-quality red rubber and they are also die-cut stamps. However, with these you actually apply the label to the stamp. HUH? Okay, so how do you stamp with them? These stamps have a label that clings to a clear block. WAIT! WHAT? CLEAR BLOCKS? NO WOOD? BLOCKS THAT YOU CAN SEE THROGH? Now how cool is that!
Sound like you can place your stamped image more easily…you can see where you want to put it. You pick the stamps you want, place it on a clear block, ink it, stamp your image, clean you stamp, then remove the stamp and place it back in the case. OHguess what, the cases are thinner now.
Moving forward in the stamping world, we get used to using these new style of stamps, but here comes another new stamp. Introducing the Cling Stamps.
THE SET: Still in form, the Cling Stamps are made from a high-quality red rubber and are also die-cut stamps. They really are pretty much the same as the Clear Mount, HOWEVER, these stamps have a super strong image label that  clings to the clear blocks, no falling off like the Clear Mount did from time to time. The Cling stamps are a step up from the Clear Mount….they really do cling!
What will they come up with next?…a stamp that you can actually see through? Ha ha ha Only in our dreams!
Well I’ll be, here comes the PHOTOPOLYMER STAMPS. Apparently dreams do come true!
THE SET: The Photopolymer Stamps are completely transparent which allows for perfect image placement. These stamps adhere well to the clear blocks. Because these sets are flexible and easy to line up, and even bend, you have even more creative possibilities!
Oh wait…let’s add another very cool factor…several of these sets are called Reversibles which means that each stamp is double sided…so you can stamp with both sides of a single stamp. One side is a solid image, while the other side has design and texture.
Can stamping life get any better? I think not. Oh waitBAM…meet DISTINKTIVE STAMPS.
THE SET: The Distinktive stamps are exclusive to Stampin’ Up! These stamps creates a photo-realistic style image. They are created to have a special texture that gives added depth and dimension to a single stamped image. These sets are available in both red rubber and photopolymer.
Okay, I am exhausted after all that time travel. BUT let’s get a discussing going about this evolution of the rubber stamp type . Leave a comment as to what is your favorite type of stamp.
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