* Why is only part of the stamp image printing?
Character Constructions are large and detailed and not always but sometimes they need a little extra help. If the entire image is not printing, a little cushion will do the trick. I always keep a mousepad on my stamping table for these situations. Simply place your cardstock or paper on top of the mousepad and stamp as usual.
* Some of my stamps are joined, is this a defect?
No, this happens on occasion during the manufacturing process particularly if one or more stamps are in close proximity. Use a small sharp scissor to separate the stamps and remove them from the carrier plates carefully.
* How big are Character Constructions stamps?
Each set / plate is approximately 4 x 6 inches, that should help you to estimate when viewing them on the internet. But don't hesitate to e-mail me if you need more specific information. Don't be afraid to mix up sizes, sometimes this can be more interesting.
* Character Constructions is an Angel Company, what does that mean?
It means that you may use your stamps to create hand-stamped artwork for resale if you so desire. Any mechanical reproductions or alterations require written permission. However, if you plan to sell your hand-stamped artwork in an online shop, you are required to give stamp credits. Unfortunately, Etsy is frequently visited by design pirates. In 2014, I was forced to retain legal counsel and defend my copyrights after a large company, reporting millions in sales annually and employing several hundred employees, pirated three of my illustrations. This was discovered when one of my customers spotted a Witch Panel being sold in The Home Decorators catalog that incorporated three of my copyright-protected illustrations. Home Decorators purchased the panels at the gift market and they were instrumental in prosecuting this case. Therefore, as an online seller, you are required to properly establish that hand-stamped illustrations are protected by registered copyrights owned by Character Constructions.
* My stamps are not as clingy as they were when I purchased them, why is that?
It just means that over time oils from your hands, dust and dirt have accumulated on them. If this should happen, clean them with a specialized clear stamp cleaner, rinse and dry to restore their cling.
* How long will my polymer stamps last?
If properly cared for polymer stamps will last for many years, equal to that of old fashioned rubber stamps.
* Where can I find samples of artwork created with Character Constructions?
You can find artwork right here on this web site in the Art section and in the Guest Artist section and there are numerous Character Constructions boards on Pinterest, with literally thousands of items pinned by Character Constructions devotees.
CARE and USE of Polymer stamps:
My manufacturering partner, Clear Choice Stamps, is an industry leader and they have shared with me a lot of good information on photopolymer stamps.
- Photopolymer stamps are somewhat soft and maleable, that's one of the reasons they work so well for finely detailed stamp images. But, this means you must exercise care to avoid tearing when peeling your stamps off their carrier plates and stamping blocks.
- Mounting: Clear stamps are unmounted stamping plates. They can be temporarily mounted to a clear acrylic block for use and then returned to their carrier plates for storage. That's one of the bonuses of clear stamps, they are easy to store and take up very little space. A 4 x 6 inch mounting block will accomodate all of the larger Character Constructions stamps. I also carry 2 x 3 inch mounting blocks for smaller stamps. You can find these in the Accessories section or in the drop down menu of each catalog. Because you mount your stamp only when you use it, you need only have one of each on hand. And, clear stamps are formulated to be naturally clingy so they need no adhesives. Simply peel them off their carrier plates and lay them onto an acrylic stamping block. They will cling naturally until you are ready to remove them. Always remove them carefully to avoid tearing.
- Cushion: Unlike wood mounted stamps, clear stamping plates lack a layer of cushion. This is easily remedied by stamping on a cushioned surface such as a mouse pad.
- Stamp Cleaners: It is advised that you keep your clear stamps clean, dry and free of ink. Many inks contain solvents and solvents can degrade your polymer stamps. Most of the time you just need a damp cloth, but if you need something stronger I recommend one of the many cleaners on the market formulated specifically for polymer stamps. Avoid solvent-based cleaners as they may degrade the polymer. Never soak your stamps in water!
- Inks: If you want to keep your stamps clear and undamaged I highly recommend that you do not use permanent ink, specifically, Clearsnap brand Ancient Page inks or Ranger brand Archival Inks. Both are permanent inks and will not only stain but will permeate the polymer.
Tsukineko Memento and Versafine are my absolute favorite inks and they come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. However, for the most part you can use any dye-based or pigment-based ink safely, just take a minute to clean your stamps with a damp cloth to remove inks before you store them. You may want to experiment with a variety of papers and inks to see which will yield the best results for your particular project.
- Storage: There are a number of methods for storing your polymer stamps. I store mine in little shallow drawers but many people like albums or CD cases. Most importantly, to protect your stamps, I would recommend that they are stored flat and out of direct light particularly sunlight which will yellow your stamps.