Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indian Block Print Stamps - Bunta

Every time I go to Santa Fe there is one store that I just can't wait to visit.  The whole time I am there I feel unsettled until we visit Jackalope.  They have all sorts of goodies from inexpensive chotchkies to extremely expensive antique furniture from all over the world.

During this past trip I came across two giant bowls of Indian block printing stamps.  From what I can gather they are called Bunta and are traditionally used to hand stamp patterns on fabric.  As soon as I saw them I was drawn to their beautiful worn wood.  I would love them just to have around the house, but the idea that I could actually use them was extra exciting to me.  The sales woman must have thought I was crazy because I had to look at each and every block.  She even offered me a pair of gloves, but by that time my hands were stained black from handling all of them.

After much internal debate I came home with the three stamps you see above.  I often buy items such as this and they sit in my craft room for years collecting dust or shoved away in a closet or trunk. I also had my doubts as to whether these things would even work.  But I finally made my way over to Michael's a couple weeks ago and bought a large stamp pad.  I then procrastinated a couple more weeks because it's always hard to start a brand new project that has a high likelihood of failure.  But one day last week I spread out some newspaper, found some fabric scraps and opened my new stamp pad and lo and behold look what happened!

I was super surprised by how easy it was and how great it turned out!  Nothing is ever that easy!  As usual my euphoria lasted about 10 minutes until I realized that I needed a larger stamp for the project I had in mind for these.  I can't wait to blog about it, but it's not quite ready yet.  So check back soon because I have become a BuntaBlockaholic!


Anonymous said...

Looks neat! How big are these, Vanessa? And how big is the next block?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to ask are they heavy?--Kara

Nessy said...

They are between 3 1/2 and 4/1/2 inches and very light. I was just thinking they might be nice mounted on a board, or maybe just photos.

Thanks for the comment!

Isabel Farnsworth said...

Hi Vanessa,
Looks great, I love those blocks too! somehow it never occurred to me that people would buy them to actually print with, that's cool! You could try rolling up ink on them with a brayer rather than getting a super large stamp pad, or I suppose you could make your own stamp pad. What are you going to do with the fabric?

KayAnne said...

I love Jackalope! I remember going there and buying stuff a looooonnnng time ago when I lived in NM. If memory serves me I bought a terracotta duck planter and my bought a really cool, black pottery lantern and a llama planter - which still grace her deck every summer years later. This reminds me - did you ever do anything w/ your lanterns from the DR?

Jamie said...

Very pretty! What a connection to the old world!

Nessy said...

Isabel, I did think about rolling ink on to them and I still might. What kind of ink would you recommend for fabric? I looked at Michael's and was not impressed with the colors of their fabric paint.

KayAnne, I forgot you lived in NM. Those lanterns we got from the DR do look like they would have come from Jackalope. Right now they are sitting in our dining room on the floor. Someday they might hang from our crabapple out back. Part of the reason we haven't done it was because I would have to bring them in in the winter and that complicated everything. I will have to ask an electrician (or maybe Rui would have some ideas for us.)

The Indian Block Company said...

Love your enthusiasm for the wooden printing blocks. Nearly all the blocks on the market are old. At Colouricious, we design our own modern blocks, usually based on ethnic designs. do have a look at our inspirational ideas for fabric printing on
For those who aspire to print their own fabric, these are perfect. We ship all over the world too!