How it started / how it started again

My 2020 started with finding out that US and Australian crafters were “sharing” a calligraphic mandala I had created as a background pattern for a portrait.
I had quickly drawn it in Sketchbook Pro and thoughtlessly posted it on my portfolio.
No big deal.

It became a huge hit in the crafters scene. I found it badly traced, printed, cut in vinyl, laser-cut, stenciled, carved, and etched in glass. Not where I wanted to be, but there I was. Beware what you put out there, you might be known for it.

So my 2020 continued: fixing that mandala, hiking, creating more calligraphic mandalas, masking up and hiking, vectorizing them in Illustrator, keeping healthy, and selling the files on Etsy.

Laura Serra Designs

Calligraphic Mandalas

Calligraphing these occasionally complicated mandalas, I was looking for a project that maybe is close to my job but different in technique. Something to loosen up my hand, or my brain, or both.

One day, on Instagram, I discovered Carol Dubosch’s Stamp Carving Workshop, noticed the very affordable price tag, and took the class. Carol’s Zoom class started off with a presentation of her stamp works, and they started sparking the imagination already. Then, we got 10 minutes to cut our first heart-stamp. Carol showed a few simple techniques and recommendations, we got 10 minutes again to continue on our own, and in the end we shared our stamps with the rest of the class.

People of the world, listen. The feeling of having an idea to carve, then carving into the soft rubbery texture, and translating the sketch into the stamp without knowing your end result… it’s thrilling!

Here are my first stamps, made from the only 4″x6″ Speedball SpeedyCarve block I had around.

the firsts

the rest I made out of the 4x6 in piece of stamp thiny

I am now herewith obsessed with taking this new passion into the new year. And I infected my husband with the stamp bug too.

Bette(r) Days celebrates the things that did not suck in 2020. Each day in December, we’ll be posting about the highlights of our collective garbage fire of a year, type-related or not.