30 October 2012

3rd Anniversary giveaway Day 8

I forgot to add the giveaway for today. This is it.

Leave a comment to win the last giveaway - the shibori fabric.

The day 7 giveaway winner is Christina

One of the best parts of having lots of people comment on my blog is getting to visit their blogs as well. I have met so many wonderful quilt artists from the Netherlands and one I just recently "met" is Ann Vanherle whose blog "Piece by Piece" is inspirational. While perusing her blog I came upon a post in which she talks about a stamp. She looked up the meaning of this stamp in a book. It is an Adinkra symbol from West Africa. 
For some reason I was so intrigued with this stamp that I also did a bit of research on this symbol and this is what I found.


"except for God

One of the website I checked out had this written about this symbol. "This African representation that nothing happens in life without the presence of God. There is nothing except God, omnipotent and omniscient. Always in one's life."
I like that. I decided to make my own Gye Nyame stamp using three different methods. I thought about carving it out of my E-Z Kut but since there really isn't any detail in the shape I decided to try 3 other materials: a sponge, a Styrofoam meat tray, and a homemade screen.

This is what happened

I bought this strange sponge at the dollar store. When dry, it is so HARD, you could drive nails with it. When wet it is very dense and doesn't work very well. Since I paid a dollar for it, I kept it and figured something would come up. I decided to reconstitute it in warm water which took a very long time. I wrung it out and used a fibertip to make the outline of the stamp which I had printed on copier paper and cut out.

I had to let it dry because I wanted it to be in it's hardened state when I used it

This is the dried sponge stamp glued with Elmer's contact cement onto fiber board from you know where ($)

Then I cut two rectangles from this very thick foam meat tray

I used another smaller version of the stamp which I covered with tape to 1. adhere it to the foam and 2. protect the paper surface from tearing when I pressed the ballpoint pen into the image to make the indentation in the foam. You can see the grove I made.

I used an X-acto knife to cut out the image and used the Elmer's contact cement again to adhere the foam image to a backing

Here I am using the sponge pouncer (Walmart) with Violet ProFab fabric paint from ProChemical and Dye onto the Styrofoam stamp. The sponge stamp is drying.


You can see every accidental dent I made in the Styrofoam with the knife

Next I took the image I had covered in tape and taped it to a piece of freezer paper and cut out the image with the X-acto knife.

I removed the taped image and trimmed the stencil to the size of this blank  screen

I made this screen by cutting a mat like frame from a piece of cardboard. I put down a piece of window sheer and taped it to the cardboard "frame" with duck tape creating a mini blank "silk screen".

I ironed the freezer paper to the screen. I tried an iron but ended up using a mini-iron

I used electrical tape (from $ store) and covered the edges so no paint would get around the edges of the screen

Ready to go

I loaded up a credit type card (hard plastic) and used it to screen the fabric paint over the screen. Screen side up; paper side down.

The screen and the two prints from the screen UR and LL

Now I used the pouncer to load the dried sponge

Not bad. Kind of organic and interesting

All of the printed images. The screen had a small tear in the paper - rats.

I don't think I've seen the last of this symbol. There were many other Adinkra symbols and I will be exploring them and their meanings. 


  1. I also love the artwork of Ann van Heerle! And I like your Gye Nyame symbol best in sponge-style!

  2. The Adrinka symboles are really interesting, I know them. I'm a follower of Ann too. She makes very nice things.

  3. Thank you Beth for showing us your methods! I'd love to try the sponge printing! How thick were yours? The only ones I've seen here were pretty thin - I wonder if you could glue 2 together?? or would that cause problems with distortion???

  4. Wow. I'm sure that experiment took hours to do. Thanks for sharing your results. Considering effort and results which did you like best?

  5. Love the symbol and your choices in stampmaking materials. I, too, love the sponge stamp results the best. Thanks for taking so much time to show us such detailed work. I'm learning a lot every time I look at your blog!

  6. The screen method is my favorite one, I definitely have to try that. It's almost like one of those thermofax stencils that I've seen for sale on etsy.

  7. Wow, will check if I can find that type of sponge somewhere around here, it looks great!

  8. I love the screen -- much cheaper than buying that thermofax I've had my eye on...

  9. The sponge looks great. I like the texture very much. I recently bought that sponge by the Kemshalls.

  10. thanks for giving me yet another great project idea!
    on my bucket list


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