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Old 04-05-2014, 08:53 AM   #1  
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Default Clear Stamp Question....

I'm so afraid I made a mistake. I just invested in the MFT clear stamp set DC Party Balloons and the matching dies. I thought I'd get plenty of use out of the two sets. However...I've yet to get a good stamp from the acrylic stamps. I've tried using dye inks and pigment inks. I've tried erasing the stamp so the ink would stick. I've tried putting Staz On on the stamp and inking over that. No matter what I do, I get blotchy balloons. I'm ready to take all of it back and get my money back. I have no trouble with rubber stamps, but I CANNOT get these stamps to produce good results no matter what I do. On their website, MFT has their own line of ink. I cannot afford to buy a whole 'nother like of inks to get this set to work. Has anyone had any success using one of their larger solid stamps? I would appreciate any help. I try to make careful purchases, and this one appears to be a major liability.

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Old 04-05-2014, 09:17 AM   #2  
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Ok, first relax! Thousands of stampers get perfectly clear images with clear stamps. . You will too. Solid stamps (rubber or clear) rarely stamp fine with dye inks. With pigment or chalk you should be fine. Try just practicing on scrap paper. If that doesn't work, try using foam underneath.

I find that I can no longer get a clean image with wood mounted rubber stamps (!!) and there is nothing wrong with the stamps. Our hands get used to stamping a certain way, and that could be your issue. You just may need more practice.

It is also possible that the stamps themselves are defective.

I hope you get the image you are looking for.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:22 AM   #3  
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Hi, Linda! Clear stamps will need to be "seasoned." The first thing I do is just as you describe, using an eraser over the surface.

The second thing I do when I'm using new stamps is continually build up the ink by inking/stamping off, inking/stamping off several times without cleaning the stamp in between inkings. You'll see the images start to get better with each stamping.

I don't have any of the MFT inks, either...mostly just Stampin' Up! inks. I can say though that I have many, many MFT stamp sets and have never had trouble beyond the normal seasoning "ritual," lol. Before returning, try giving them a call and see what they say; they are fantastic with customer service.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:28 AM   #4  
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I agree with Joan that pigment or chalk inks will give you a better image. Also, the more you use a photopolymer stamp, the better the image gets. I erase the stamp, then wipe it on my jeans or wash it with mild hand soap. It may take more than one time, too. Overall, I get better images from photopolymer stamps than I ever could get with rubber stamps.
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:39 PM   #5  
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With some of my "clear" stamps (I doubt that they were photopolymer, since they were really cheap), I've used a nail buffer or even sandpaper (fine grit, light touch) instead of an eraser, and that worked just fine! I know that might scare some, but it didn't seem to cause any damage, and I was able to get a nice, clear image even with dye inks.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:16 PM   #6  
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You may need a "Lighter Hand" with stamping clear stamps. The harder you press, blurrier image is.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:38 PM   #7  
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Maybe stamp use VersaMark ink first and then right onto whatever ink you are using and then onto the paper? Do you hold the inked stamp onto the paper for a few seconds ( count 1001 to 1006) to let the ink absorb into the paper before you pick up the stamp. I usually don't have problems with clear stamps and love MFT stamps among others. VersaFine ink is good to use if dye inks don't seem to work.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:45 PM   #8  
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Thanks so much for your replies. I think I should make it plain that I'm not having a problem with a blurry image, its that I can't get the solid balloon filled in completely. Even if I very carefully apply the ink, there are very small uninked areas or blotches. I just can't get it even. It's as if the ink forms little tiny pools and doesn't quite cover the solid area. The lighter I press, the worse it is. I'm really afraid to use sandpaper on these stamps. Won't scratches show on the solid, inked area?
And, if its necessary to do this, I wish MFT would put directions on the package to tell me to do this or to show me how. I've used outline acrylic stamps with very little problem, but these are the first acrylic stamps I've used with a large solid area. I guess I have to try erasing several more times. Any specific kind of eraser?
Thanks,
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:55 PM   #9  
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I use a Pentel white eraser that looks like a pen with a slider button on the side to move the eraser up and down. The white eraser is the best I've found for erasing on paper because it doesn't leave marks or dry out and get hard like pencil erasers do.

If you look at the stamp from the side do you see an indentation or dimple? If you do then that would be a defect because the stamp itself is not level so contact MFT to ask for a replacement. Good luck! It's a bummer when new toys don't work up to your expectations.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:56 PM   #10  
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just go to the MFT forum and ask.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:12 PM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
If that doesn't work, try using foam underneath.

.
That was my first thought. I struggled with that one, now I just keep a pad of paper underneath my cardstock and it's just fine. I have a sheet of foamy paper that came with a CTMH stamp set and I use that quite often. I hope you find a way that works for you; I was so hesitant to go to the clear but once I did, I really did like them!!!
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:57 PM   #12  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LRozyczkoView Post
Thanks so much for your replies. I think I should make it plain that I'm not having a problem with a blurry image, its that I can't get the solid balloon filled in completely. Even if I very carefully apply the ink, there are very small uninked areas or blotches. I just can't get it even. It's as if the ink forms little tiny pools and doesn't quite cover the solid area. The lighter I press, the worse it is. I'm really afraid to use sandpaper on these stamps. Won't scratches show on the solid, inked area?
And, if its necessary to do this, I wish MFT would put directions on the package to tell me to do this or to show me how. I've used outline acrylic stamps with very little problem, but these are the first acrylic stamps I've used with a large solid area. I guess I have to try erasing several more times. Any specific kind of eraser?
Thanks,
Linda
When I am inking a solid image, I have better luck laying the stamp face side up, and applying the ink to the stamp that way, rather than "stamping" into the ink pad with the stamp. Also, I look to see that the image is covered evenly. If not I apply more ink to those areas that need it.

I always test on scrap paper a few times before re-inking and stamping on my cardstock. If I see uninked areas or blotches in my test, I try to concentrate on those areas when re-inking.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:19 AM   #13  
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Something else I do when using clear stamps...after laying the stamp on the paper and doing the regular stamping, just to be on the safe side, I'll run my fingers all over the block to make sure I've hit all spots.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:35 AM   #14  
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It could be the way you're putting the stamp on the block... What I mean is, when you stick the stamp on the block, do you check to make sure you've gotten any air bubbles smoothed out? I am a CTMH consultant, and have used only clear stamps for 10 years. I know that especially with solid-image stamps, you have to be sure to do that. And I also want to add, I almost ALWAYS use our dye inks and they work great.

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Old 04-06-2014, 07:30 AM   #15  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LRozyczkoView Post
Thanks so much for your replies. I think I should make it plain that I'm not having a problem with a blurry image, its that I can't get the solid balloon filled in completely. Even if I very carefully apply the ink, there are very small uninked areas or blotches. I just can't get it even. It's as if the ink forms little tiny pools and doesn't quite cover the solid area. The lighter I press, the worse it is. I'm really afraid to use sandpaper on these stamps. Won't scratches show on the solid, inked area?
And, if its necessary to do this, I wish MFT would put directions on the package to tell me to do this or to show me how. I've used outline acrylic stamps with very little problem, but these are the first acrylic stamps I've used with a large solid area. I guess I have to try erasing several more times. Any specific kind of eraser?
Thanks,
Linda
No, no scratches show at all. It's the same concept (in my mind, anyway) as "scuff sanding" a piece of furniture before you paint it - it just creates "tooth", something for the paint/ink to hold onto... I've even done this with some actual photopolymer stamps that were a little pricey, and on some of my solid-image rubber stamps, just to make sure that I got a good impression. Only if the eraser trick didn't work, though
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:13 PM   #16  
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Hi Linda, I'm sorry you are frustrated with your stamp! I have that set and have had good luck with it (disclaimer: I am on the MFT DT.) I would try the above suggestions - a bit of extra conditioning couldn't hurt, put a piece of foam under your card stock. Can I ask what card stock you are stamping on? And what ink you are using? I use MFT inks, CTMH inks, Amuse inks -all with great results. Some colors seem to work better than others for some reason. I use smooth white card stock from MFT, but have also had good luck with CTMH, Bazzill card shoppe, and Taylored Expressons snow white card stock. If I ever have trouble with a solid image, I stamp it a "million" times on scrap paper, clean it a couple times, change my stamping surface (desk to foam or vice-versa). Usually one of the above helps Have you tried re-inking your pad? I have heard of people inking the stamp first with VersaMark and then with the desired ink (don't clean it in between). If all else fails, you could use a stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp over the image a second time to get complete coverage. I have done that with a beloved CTMH color that I neglected to get the re-inker for before it retired!

Of course, if you are still having trouble and think you may have a defective set, e-mail MFT. They are always very helpful.
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