As rubber stamping increasingly gains popularity, mostly in the United States, it also gains a reputation as an art form. Some participants choose to carve their own rubber stamps, either of old-fashioned gum erasers or eraser-like rubber.
Other materials besides rubber may be used to produce a stamp. Woodcut and linocut are art forms based on the same principals. Linoleum is much harder than rubber and thus requires special tools, to create a custom rubber stamp. In Europe, linocut is more popular, especially with students and hobby artists. Woodcut, opposingly, is mostly used by professional artists, requiring much talent and patience. Rubber carving material is available in Europe, but it`s marketed as a children`s toy and not widely used.
This special rubber is popular due to its ease of use. It can mimic woodcuts, but is rarely used this way. The print from the carved rubber stamp is viewed as work of art on its own, or one or more stamps are used to embellish a work of art with other components.
The print of a larger rubber stamp can be a work of art on its own right, and is often used as such. But it`s also possible to use multiple prints from the same or different rubber stamps on a piece of art to create a picture, or combine stamping with other art forms.
There are several possibilities to vary the look of those works. Paints, pigments and dye inks all create different effects, extending the use of rubber stamping from paper to fabrics, wood, metal, glass, and so on.
The use of rubber stamps can be combined with other materials, creating custom rubber stamps. The image may be embellished by the addition of chalks, inks, paints, fibers and a variety of other ephemera and embellishments.