01-30-2013 08:09 AM
I played with this technique a long time ago and never did anything outstanding. Forgot most of what I learned back then so I thought I would start learning again.
This is the second attempt. For those not familiar with the technique, you stamp the wood (in this case I used a heart stamp I made) Then you sand, turn or shear scrape the wood down to where you can just see the stampings. Some will still be there, some will be flush with the surface and some gone. It's hard to get a consistent stamp depth. Then you steam or wet the wood to make the stampings swell up above the surface.
Based on the first 2 mirrors I made with this technique the wood species is going to be important. The first was maple and it was so hard it was difficult to get the stamps below the surface. The texture created by the raised hearts is very subtle. This mirror is made from Sassafras. the wood is much softer. Some places very soft. The stamp went in smoothly in some places, not as smooth in other and some areas went in quite deep and tore the fibers at the edges. You can see the difference in the swelling in the final product. I used a rag over the work with a steam iron to raise the grain.
I'm sure the type of stamp as well as the type of wood affects how well this works. I'll keep playing. I remember I had the depth problem before and made a nail with a washer soldered to it for my punch. The washer limited the depth so they stampings were very consistent. The dots still didn't raise to the same level but when you did the first turning to lower the wood all the dots were recessed to the same depth which helped. I may make one of those this afternoon and try it. I will need to reshape my heart stamp because it's too subtle on these mirrors.