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Stamping Around on the Town

Stamping Around on the Town

This is an old cobblestone street in the Old City of Tzfat, Israel. Tzfat is located in the mountains in Northern Israel, and has ancient historical roots. My friend lives on this very street, and it is where I spent the Passover holiday. I used to live in this city. It’s an amazing place with mazy, twisty cobblestone roads that take you back to another era in time. It felt good to be back there.
My friend and I decided to have some fun with art, and used a photo of her street as a source of inspiration. Rather than trying to paint an exact rendition of it, we chose to use stamp techniques and straight geometrical shapes and lines to create a kind of contemporary, abstract look. We wanted to find out what we could do with the most simplest of “tools,”too.
Our “stamps” consisted of very simple things:
  • a piece of flat, flexible styrofoam
  • a bit of screening
  • a cucumber
  • a strip of bumpy foam
  • one square rubber stamp with a design on it
  • a piece of string

We used Jacquard fabric paints.

When looking at the photo, we focused on the rectangular shapes and the windy cobblestone lane. The buildings are just rectangles.

We used the different types of “stamping materials” to achieve different textures.

The photo below represents the buildings on the left hand side of our photo. The awning is represented by a cucumber peel.

Let’s go through the techniques.
Paint the flexible styrofoam. We used purple and blue mixed with white.

Paint the flexible styrofoam, and lay some string on it. The string won’t let the area it lays on stamp paint, so it looks like cracks in a wall.

Stamp it!

Now the right side of the cobblestone lane is composed of a sign post and one more building. We used a slice of cucumber to create the building. It really looks interesting.

The pole is created with a paintbrush

Jumping back to the left side: Paint over the screen. It leaves a very interesting pattern.

Now we make the cobblestone lane.
Cut out a “lane” shape from the flexible styrofoam. You can see the actual shape in the photo after the one which follows.

Use a fabric glue stick to make the foam sticky

Add cucumber snippets and lightly press them down as best as possible, to try to make them stick.

Add black and white paint to create cobblestones.

Stamp it down and then remove any remaining bits of cucumber with a tweezer.
Wonderful texture, isn’t it?
Add greenery with a paintbrush. Just “dot on” different shades of green to simulate leaves.
Next, use a small square stamp for windows. Stamp with black paint. Allow to dry.
Using a paintbursh, turquoise is used to create the decorative feel on the windows and door, and awning.
Use the paintbrush to give it a “once over.” The general shapes and interesting textures have been created with the stamping.
Here is the finished piece, once more:

And, just for fun, my dog on that same cobblestone road. (unfortunately they decided to tear up the road and redo it- make it more “modern.” Can you recognize the same buildings? The new construction has been going on for over a year. I like the old better!


  • April 11, 2007

    I love your blog! Informative, beautiful, and full of dolls and fabric! What more could I ask?! Thank-you so much for sharing.

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