Stamp making!

I’m visiting a high school friend and her family and wanted to make her kids, Liam and Zoe, stamps (hanko) as a little gift. If we have time, maybe even paint!

The first photo is the before picture — first I heavily penciled on paper their names in Japanese katakana (the phonetic alphabet used for foreign names and loan words); then I pressed a piece of eraser hard onto the penciled letters; finally, I traced again over the pencil marking on the eraser to make them more visible. What you see in the first photo is the result of this set pf steps.

Liam.Zoe.Pre-cutting.2.2014-03-01

The second photo is the after — Liam on the left, and Zoe on the right. I took an exacto blade, the silver one in the first photo, and carefully carved out the letters. Then I reshaped the body of the stamp, giving Zoe’s stamp a heart shape and Liam’s a geometric shape, and I inked them to test.

Liam.Zoe.2014-03-01

One of the things with these stamps is that their names both start with katakana characters that are hard for me to get. Liam starts with リ and Zoe starts with ゾ, which can sort of look similar. My own name, in fact, was always a little tricky for me to get right when handwriting in Japanese、as it involves those same two characters, plus another tricky one, ン, which sort of looks like the other two  — Alison is アリソン .

I think I got them okay on these stamps — although I’m not quite happy with the last character in Liam’s, the ム.

If you’re interested in making your own hanko, Dosankodebbie has some pretty handy instructions here.

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