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Article: How to ink an ex-libris or a stamp?

¿Cómo entintar un ex-libris o un sello? - Les Tampons de Roser

How to ink an ex-libris or a stamp?

There are two ways to ink an ex libris stamp, one suitable and the other much less precise. In this article, I will quickly explain which is the best method to obtain a perfect stamp.

Mistakes when stamping an ex-libris

Before I explain my favorite method for getting clean, complete and perfect stamps, it is important to understand what not to do. When I show my stamps at craft markets, among the people who stop at my booth, many of them make the theatrical gesture of stamping in the air, like a postage stamp. This gesture that you immediately think of when you see a stamp, is not the correct way to stamp it. Most of those who want to try the stamps start inking with this method, take only the handle of the ex-libris, press it very hard on the ink pad placed on the table and then stamp it directly on the paper, and the result is rarely the expected one. Although this iconic gesture may seem obvious, even intuitive, it rarely gives a good result. Unfortunately, with this method, the stamp engraving is often unevenly impregnated with ink, resulting in a slightly incomplete impression. A small piece of illustration or a letter or two may be missing at one end of the stamp.

Tips for a good stamp

How to get a perfect stamping of your ex-libris?

Once it is clear what not to do, I will move on to the recommended method for optimal inking of your ex-libris stamp. In order to properly ink the entire surface of the stamp, it is essential to be able to clearly see the engraving during the inking process. Hold the stamp with one hand and the ink pad with the other. Turn the engraved part of the ex-libris upwards, with the stamp handle down, so that you can clearly see the areas where you are going to apply the exlibris ink. Next, use the pad and tap lightly and without force on the stamp engraving. This way, you can easily identify the areas that have already been inked and those that still need ink. When you are sure that the stamp is evenly inked, stamp your stamp on the first page of your book, no need to use a lot of force if the stamp is well impregnated with ink, it will look great.

Other tips on how to stamp your ex-libris

Two additional tips before stamping the stamp on the sheet. First, check that the sheet is on a completely flat surface. Second, place your hand close to where you want to place the ex libris stamp. This hand will help you hold the sheet steady as you apply and remove the stamp, ensuring an accurate, smudge-free stamping.

By following this recommended method, you will obtain perfectly inked impressions, which will highlight every detail of your ex libris engraving. Take the time to perform careful inking to obtain quality results every time you use your stamp. And if necessary, practice inking and stamping once or twice on used paper before stamping your ex-libris on a book.

Now that you know how to ink an ex-libris, if you don't have one, maybe it's time to make your own custom bookplate.

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