Wednesday, 16 November 2011

My favourite London shops ~ Stamps Galore: Blade Rubber Stamps

I only discovered Blade Rubber Stamps this year. Before I left for London for my annual summer holiday, I did a little internet search to see if there were any shops selling rubber stamps in London. There was a shop, and even better, it was basically just around the corner of where I was staying. And it's a wonderful shop. Stamps galore, from floor to ceiling, on all the walls. Wooden mounted and unmounted rubber stamps, acrylic / clear stamps, foam stamps, metal stamps, and of course a great variety of ink pads to go with them. And there’s loads more. Patterned papers, stickers, rub-ons, stencils, embellishments, punches – a whole range of scrapbooking supplies in short. The shop has a lovely atmosphere, with friendly, helpful staff. I ended up going to that shop not only once during my two weeks summer holiday, but three times. And of course I went again in October.

They also have a Made To Order Rubber Stamp service, run classes and have a blog with lots of ideas, blogging tutorials, freebies, workshops, videos and links.

The shop is just opposite the main entrance of the British Museum, in Bury Place, and it’s pretty much in between Shepherds Falkiners and the third of may favourite London shops. They also have an online shop, and when I asked them if it was possible to order from outside the UK as well, was told that they ship to everywhere and only charge the actual postage. The only exception are punches, which they don’t sell via mail order, as they are too heavy.

A bit over a year ago, I took a scrapbooking class (my first online class ever, and it was then, and because of it, that I started this blog). I enjoyed the class, which was based on colour, but I soon discovered that scrapbooking wasn’t really my thing. I completed three layouts, which I keep moving from one corner to the other, as I don’t really know what to do with them. Also, I found the whole scrapbooking supply industry far too overwhelming. There’s wonderful stuff there, no doubt, but it just left me with a feeling that it was all mainly about spending lots of money on all kinds of supplies, in order to create something, while I think that you should be able to create lots of stuff with only a small, but essential, supply of things. However, there are a few things, I must admit, I have come to love, most of all rubber stamps. I like to use them in some of my paintings, mostly in my art journal.

I really like these patterned cardboard letters I bought in October. The only problem with them is that I’m afraid I’ve already used up most of the useful letters and am now left with all the funny consonants. So now I’ll just have to use individual letters, rather than words, if I want to use them up.

I enjoyed doing these two pages in my art journal. I didn’t really know what I was going to do, I only knew that I wanted to use some of the supplies I had bought in the shop – the patterned papers, the stamps, the ink pads and the letters. I used acrylic paints matching the patterned papers as a base. The words then emerged in the process. Inspiration has been a big word for me this year. One of the biggest things to inspire me endlessly is nature, and colour has always been the driving force that made me pick up paint and brush in the first place. But it’s also the various products and techniques that inspire me to be creative and try out new things. I hope to give back to others a some of the inspiration I find in so many places and with so many artists out there.

And inspiring and inspired life – that is really what I’m looking for, and what I’ve been working hard at since the beginning of this year.

At Blade Rubber Stamps, they also have a great supply of magazines, such as Artful Blogging, Somerset Studio, Art Journaling, Stamper's Sampler, and many more. These magazines aren't available here in Switzerland, apparently, so it's nice to pick up a copy of some of them when I’m there. To be honest, it’s probably better they're not available here, as most probably, more often than not, I wouldn't be able to resist buying them. But it's nice to have the one or other from time to time. They're really inspiring, full of great ideas and photos.

So there’s now only one shop left in my little Favourite London Shops series. Next time, we’re going to take a step back in time and look at some very traditional materials – but in a different form.

Autumn in Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London


  1. Some great photos here, not just the art work. Clever depth of field and composition. I love those two complete pages - the colours are almost electric but not flourescent like 1980's socks! I recognise a lot of these stamps from various posts over recent months. I can totally believe the addiction to these - it's an unlimited supply of creativity and you could devote your life to collecting these stamps.

    You really have been an inspiration, not just through your creativity but your positive approach to the various media you've used and challenges you've set yourself. It always makes me feel a little inadequate and unadventurous in my photography, but sometimes I remember your dedication and creativity when I'm taking photos (rather than just in the evening at home), and I immediately start to think of ways of being a little more different and original.

    Can't wait to see your third specialist shop, and how it has fuelled your creativity this year!

  2. Thank you, Nigel. I'm glad you like the pages, even though one of them is pink! ;) Those stamps definitely are addictive. It's a good thing I'm in London only once or twice a year!

    It makes me really happy that I could provide a bit of inspiration for you. I really admire your skills and creativity in your photography, and the constantly high level of your processing. You manage to capture so many aspects of everyday life, and to bring it all to life. Whenever I try to take landscape shots, I have to think of your excellent land- and seascapes, with all the lines, textures and colours you manage to capture, and I'm always frustrated that mine look so bland and faded. I try to tell me that it's because the light is different, but really, it is just that I don't have your skills. Your photography is such a great inspiration to me!

  3. The page sand stamps are both amazing... the green one is so beautifully done... need to find time to sit and search for some of those mags here in Australia... must be able to find them!!!

  4. color used are eye catchy,amazing post,You are such an inspiration!!keep it up...