Monday, May 30, 2016

Carving Material Review: Oz Kut by Stampeaz

Transfer using hot iron on OZ Kut
 I considered not actually doing a review of this material since this blog is essentially an endless series of posts of carving with it.  But, I decided to include it out of fairness and out of my compulsive need to have things be symmetrical.

If somehow you don't know, OZ Kut is the current reincarnation of the long passed PZ Kut, on offer from a fellow letterboxer at the US-based Stampeaz. Not affiliated with her or Stampeaz in any way, but I'm not aware of any other places dedicated to stamp-making like her shop is and she is lovely to order from, with excellent service (given all my quirky asks to try to get the carving material to Canada as cheaply as possible).

The cost for the material is relatively inexpensive - before shipping, of course.  For anyone reading from the US of A - you are very lucky and privileged to have such an inexpensive postal system.  And no risk of customs/duties at the border. Sigh. You are truly living the dream.

Anyway, there is massive benefit in having a fellow letterboxer be involved in the carving material creation process, this stuff is all-around great...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Carving Material Review: Speedball Speedy Carve (2013)

Speedball Speedy Carve (2013 formulation)
So, Speedball Speedy Carve.  The ubiquitous "pink stuff".  If you've ever carved a stamp in North America, you have probably been pushed in the direction of this material.  In fact, all over this blog you'll find pink stuff.  The tricky part is that even in the seven years that I've been carving, there have been three different formulations of this material.  The stuff that I originally started carving with was great, all purpose stuff.  And I think that's pretty much the case now - it's good all purpose stamp carving material. 

However, the newest formulation (noted by the 2013 date on the label) is yet another step away from the original material that I liked so much.  The 2012 version (if it can still be found anywhere) was more brittle and crumbly - with a slightly lighter colour.  I believe the original stuff I used was 2009...

Cost-wise, this is pretty middle of the road and highly dependant on where you bought it.  By fluke, I found a 12" x 12" slab of the stuff (I've never seen that size in the wild!) and the price per square inch worked out quite nicely.

Again, this blog is littered with my thoughts about this material, but for posterity (and to be able to include it in my comparison table), here is the review for Speedy Carve.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Carving Material Review: LifeMaster Crystal Block

LifeMaster Crystal Block
So, bumbling my way through the internets looking for carving materials (to further update my comparison table), I came across a cool-looking set of carving materials called LifeMaster Crystal Blocks. I tried to find anywhere where someone has tried using this stuff and couldn't find reference to it anywhere.

Cost-wise, even though this had free shipping from where I bought it, it was pretty pricey and probably in the top five in terms of cost. Hopefully I like it!

My first thoughts when they came in the mail were pretty positive.  The set of 10 blocks were all various colours and came in individual packets and felt great...