Eraser carving-part 1

I thought I would write a tutorial for eraser carving- aka block carving. I’ve been eraser carving since way back when- at least 10-15 years. Usually, I will carve for awhile, then put it away. Time will pass, and I will have a great reason to bring it out once again, so I do. After I get it out of my system, I will put it away once more. It’s a cycle.


Around 1996, I was asked to take part in a group book project called, Raplica, where you had to include a carved image into your page design. My good friend, Lori S-C, was also in that group- which was alot of fun! I’m getting sidetracked here, so I’ll get to the tutorial.

Step 1: First you gather your carving supplies:


Carving Supplies may be found online at Nasco, or Blick’s Art Supply. Look under “printmaking,” then under “block printing.”

Step 2: Draw your design with a #2 pencil. When you are happy, you may deepen the darkness of the lines.


You are now ready for Lesson 2 to finish this tutorial.  This is where we begin to carve and complete the finished stamp.

Regards, Carla

10 thoughts on “Eraser carving-part 1

  1. Carla, I did one once in a college art class. I really liked that art class, we did so many different things. I wish now that I had taken more art classes when I was in college. I did a bulldog head as I went to the university of Minnesota at Duluth and they were the bulldogs.

  2. You are so talented in so many different areas! DH is loving the older enteries of the mural, wall etc. Yes, it is show & tell day on your blog….

  3. OOooo Carla… I am excited to continue with your tutoring. I have NEVER carved before.. but have always wanted to try!!!!

    PS… THANK YOU for your sweet email…made me SMILE!!!!
    your kind words… made me BLUSH!!!

  4. Wonderful work. Great tutorial – succint with beautiful examples.

    I too have been carving since 1997 (over 10 years). Off and on. Initially I used carved stamp images to make greeting cards. Most of which I traded with other carvers/rubberstampers via the internet listserv Carving Consortium.

    Lately when I carve stamps, I place one in a tupperware container with a logbook. Hide it and publish the directions to the box on The hobby/activity is called “letterboxing”.

    Just thought I’d mention it here, in case you or other eraser carvers might like to give it a try. It combines artistry with exploring, discovery, hiking and exercise.

  5. Thanks, Lone R, for the comment. Yes, I have written before about the joys of letterboxing. If this is a new term for my blog readers, just google the word and off you go.

  6. Yes! Erasers rock! HOWEVER… not a fan (at all) of the brownish art gum erasers… that’s what they had us carve way back when in college and high school. SO NOT the right medium for anything that will last. I don’t even like to use it teaching children how to carve. Much better, IMO, to start them off with the right stuff. Even if they have to learn proper and safe ways to use cutting tools. Those thick white erasers that I find 3 to a pack for like $1.50 are like Staedler Master Carve blocks (which also erases, if you’ve ever just really craved a huge-eroni eraser) are the best for me. Don’t like the thinner stuff as much… to me it’s not as flexible and I put just the tiniest bit of tension on the lines I carve with my exacto to get at what I want to chisel away at with the speedball. Looking forward to trying the smaller nib, though.
    Great site!

  7. Thanks for visiting! I’ve always been a fan of SafteyKut, the thicker variety. Driving this decision has been because you could get Safteykut in large sizes in case you want to carve larger images.

    In the old days, the Staedler carving blocks you could only get in the small size, which was fine if you were carving something tiny. Nowadays though, Staedler makes larger sizes… though I’m not sure when the company made this change.

    It’s nice to see that letterboxing is doing a terrific job introducing new people to carving. Happy Carving!

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