For the past week, I’ve been working in my stamping area, tearing up grungy old carpet, moving around heavy stamp and craft storage units and generally making a mess. But in the process, I pulled everything out of several storage areas and found a box full of Rollagraph wheels, ink cartridges and handles.
It’s been a while since I’ve used them, mostly because I haven’t been storing them with the rest of my stamps so when I’m browsing my stamps for a project, I forget about them (something I have corrected in my reorganization.)
I also was straightening up some scrap paper and it occurred to me that the Rollagraph wheels would be handy for turning odds and ends of left-over papers into useable background papers.
For example, this piece of paper was in my “save this because maybe I’ll find something to do with it eventually” pile. (I have trouble throwing anything away.) I don’t remember what technique I was experimenting with at the time, but it isn’t all that attractive as is.
So I tried rolling over it with one of Clearsnap’s Rollagraph wheel patterns. It’s a full 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of cardstock, so I’ll probably cut it up into several smaller pieces to use for card layers. With a few rolls of the wheel, it now has much more potential. The ink beneath the stamped pattern gives it an unexpected extra bit of color and interest. You never know how this type of thing is going to work out, so there is some serendipity involved.
Here is another background in progress using a Rollagraph wheel over a piece of scrap paper that caught some yellow/green over-spray from a project I was working on at some point.
And here is another left-over bit of scrap paper. I think this one was probably from playing around with a watered ink brayer.
But look what happened to it when I brayered another Rollagraph wheel over it in two different colors. Pretty cool huh?
In the early days of stamping, a roller stamp’s printing ability was limited to the circumference of the rubber stamp wheel. Once the inked rubber rolled across the paper once, most of the ink was discharged, so it would get lighter and lighter as you continued to roll it. This made it hard to create long lengths of evenly inked patterns.
If you’ve only played with that type of roller stamp, you probably find you don’t use them much. (In fact, at one time some stampers preferred to unmounted the rubber stamp from their wheels so they could stamp them that way instead.) But if you instead use the kind with a self-inking handle, it is a much better experience. Here is an empty Jumbo Rollagraph Self-Inking Handle from Clearsnap.
To use, you slide in an ink cartridge.
They snap easily in place.
Remove the cover to expose the inky applicator inside the ink cartridge.
Snap in one of MANY Rollagraph wheels Clearsnaps offers.
Press the cartridge up so it makes contact with the wheel. Then you simply roll it across some scrap paper a time or two to ink the wheel. Then roll it across your project. The ink stays in contact with the wheel so the image stays crisp and evenly inked. It’s very easy to use.
There are a lot of gadgets in the craft world and you don’t need all of them. But this is a nice low-tech kind of gadget that is actually well designed, doesn’t need electricity, is fairly easy to clean and doesn’t require dedicated table space. The handle runs somewhere around $6 and the wheels run about $7.50. There are also smaller Standard Rollagraph Handles and wheels.
Right now I have my wheels in boxes, but I’m mulling over ways to store them so they are out where I will see them and so use them more often. Anyone have an especially good way to store roller stamp wheels?