1 Custom 8×10-inch polymer stamp sheet.

Twenty-plus years ago, I found a local source for flexible stamps that allowed me to create custom commemorative plates, but that source went away. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had to close my non-essential store, then craft shows were canceled. I continued making work and renewed my search for unmounted stamps. Rubber Stamp Champ in San Marcos, California, (RubberStampChamp.com), had the product I needed and great customer service. 

To find the product that works on clay, on their website, search “Laser Rubber, Full Sheet, Uncut/Unmounted,” and request polymer instead of rubber. I send an 8½×11-inch PDF document (be sure the graphics only occupy 8×10 inches) filled with logos, text, and clip art. Stamps are produced and mailed the next day. Within a week, I have a polymer sheet of flexible stamps that I cut apart for use (be sure to leave enough border around each cut design to lift the stamp off the clay). For commissioned orders, companies send black-and-white JPEG images of their logos and I charge a $25 setup fee to offset the stamp’s cost.

To use the stamps, place a finger on the inside of the pot, then pinch the stamp into the soft leather-hard clay. If the clay is sticky, spray WD-40 on the stamp as a lubricant. The translucent polymer sheet is easy to position on the clay. After stamping, rework the pot back into shape and smooth any edge lines with a finger. Stamp plates and other flat pots before cutting them off the bat to avoid any misshaping. After the bisque firing, I fill in the stamped areas using underglaze pens, wipe off excess, and top with a clear glaze.

2 Pinch the stamp into the clay. 3 Custom stamped mug ready for trimming and handle attachment.

I have made custom promotional mugs (including 130 that a local company used as employee holiday gifts), spoon rests, and other products for local businesses and an online store. I have been able to almost eliminate the need to be at craft shows.

Topics: Ceramic Artists