Yes, they hold their shape. Mine has kept the pattern for years!
The blue block becomes like a rubber stamp. You would ink it just like any other stamp on an ink pad; and clean it off as you would a rubber stamp. I have a SU! scrubber, and as I remember it worked great. I'll try to get my blue block out and play with it.
Happy Stampin'! ~ Diane
I John 4:11