Friday, February 22, 2013

Stevia Stamps

Good morning! It's Deborah. As I was thinking of "sweet," I thought it might be interesting to explore various "sweet" plants. My art often involves botanical shapes and images and I am always looking for new motifs to incorporate into my work.

I searched Google images with various tags and found three pictures that were quite inspiring. You see them printed out here. At the top is a stevia plant. That's the plant used as a natural alternative to sugar. In the middle is the core of an agave plant which will be boiled down to make agave nectar. At the bottom is a sweet pea blossom. All very inspiring, don't you think?
I decided to focus on the stevia leaves and create a rubber stamp. Above you can see my tiny pattern and the stamp I created by cutting out a piece of sticky-back fun foam and sticking it to a square of plexi glass.

Here's my first page. The very first impression on the left was too close to the spiral and didn't quite fit. With the rest of the page I "inked up" the stamp just once and then did repeat stamps fading to the top.

The thing that really drew me to the stevia image was the potential for this type of repeated image, like a Mexican tile. I especially love the negative space between the stamps.
Here is the same idea with the stem facing in rather than out. This is my favorite, I believe.

Next I wondered if I could do more than four impressions with radial symmetry. I ripped out a page from the sketch book and folded it into eighths. You can also see my spouncer sponge sitting on my paint palette (Styrofoam meat tray). I used acrylic paint and dabbed off quite a bit so the spouncer wasn't too juicy as I dabbed the paint onto the stamp.

Too mushy. It might have worked better if I used two colors and alternated. The most interesting bit here is the wonky flower shape in the middle, don't you think?
(Sorry for the shadows. My studio is in the basement with less-than-desirable lighting.)

Then I continued exploring how the shape could be nestled together in various ways.
I love this as a potential border motif.

I added some swirly, viney, blossomy doodles the one of my sketchbook pages.


  1. wow! tremendously creative, innovative take-off on this months theme. What's the material from which you carved the stamp?

  2. It's not really "carved." It's just cut from sticky-backed fun foam.

  3. What an excellent tutorial about how to explore a motif!
    Sandy in the UK

  4. Gorgeous work with this pretty motif... And what a lovely quilt design resulted!

  5. It's amazing how many looks you were able to achieve with one pretty stamp. Lovely.

  6. This is amazing! I love this blog! I must try it...

  7. I love it, I love it, I love it. I use stevia along with honey as a sweetner.

  8. Great idea! I love the variety of patterns you have acheived.

  9. Love it! That Stevia design is a winner.

  10. A lovely design, and I agree with you: it reminds me of Mexican tiles!