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How Do I Choose the Best Pottery Stamps?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Many artists use pottery stamps to add a final and unique touch to custom pottery, but there are many different stamps on the market. Deciding whether the stamp should create a single mark or a design that may wrap around the pottery piece will be one step toward choosing the best pottery stamp, because the two types of stamps are completely different. Patterned stamps are used to create a generic pattern and may be used over and over again to cover an entire piece of pottery. The material of the pottery stamp will determine how well the stamp works and its overall quality. Pottery is commonly touched and used, so choosing a texture stamp may add an extra layer of depth and appeal to the pottery.

The first thing an artist should think about when selecting pottery stamps is whether he or she wants the stamp to be a single mark or a design that goes around the piece of pottery. A single mark is a small stamp that contains a letter, symbol or image. Design stamps are longer and are made to stamp a large area of the pottery; these stamps are usually more intricate, as well.

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A patterned pottery stamp uses a series of lines and other markings that, when stamped near each other, create a pattern. If the user wants to cover the entire piece of pottery with a uniform design, then choosing a patterned stamp will make this simple. If the artist is just looking to stamp a small area, they getting a patterned stamp may be a bad idea, because these stamps look best when used on a large area.

Pottery stamps are made from many different types of materials, though the most common materials are rubber, ceramic and wood. Rubber stamps are often recommended, because they are usually the cheapest and easiest to find; some artists do not like rubber stamps, however, because they are flexible and may not stamp evenly on the pottery’s surface. Ceramic stamps are more expensive but are sturdy and easily stamp into quickly drying pottery. Wood also is sturdy and is easier for woodworkers to customize or change when compared to rubber and ceramic.

Pottery is commonly touched and handled, so using pottery stamps with a texture may add a new layer to the touch sensation. Aside from choosing the texture he wants, if he or she wants one, the artist also must determine what type of texture stamp to use. Some texture pottery stamps push into the pottery, creating a better imprint but also warping the pottery the most. The other stamp type pushes the texture's outline onto the pottery, which causes very little of the pottery to be pushed inward; the downside to this stamp is that it may leave a square border on the pottery piece.

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