when i was in college and first discovered printmaking, i decided to throw myself into the history of the artform with a somewhat obsessive dedication. i checked out every book i could find in w&m‘s library and found myself bugging my printmaking teachers for little tidbits about the history of the actual plates and technology that went into modern printmaking. as much as i loved the newer techniques for printmaking, i found myself repeatedly drawn to ancient wood block techniques.
while studying abroad in london the summer between my junior and senior year, i splurged on what looked like an entire pallet of wood block stamps from india. in a terrible twist of fate my suitcase couldn’t hold them all so i ended up having to give them away to my roommates. it killed me because, despite being told their actual purpose, i was pretty sure they all thought they were weird chunks of wood to be used as doorstops in their dorms. so whenever i see a beautiful wood block stamp i feel the urge to buy them all, hoarders-style, and keep them safe in my house (and away from college doors). thankfully you can find these woodblock stamps all over these days, but i was really happy to see such a fun collection of them over at a trade for trade, a fair trade e-shop carrying everything from craft supplies and jewelry to home decor and stationery. these blocks range from $7-$27 each and are so much fun to use. if you’ve never tried block printing i highly suggest finding a brightly colored paint and giving it a shot- even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly the quality of the print is so unique it’s worth a try. click here to check out a trade for trade’s full collection of wood block stamps online. thanks, kendra!