Wax Seal Stamp
Today I will review a custom wax seal stamp by STAMPTITUDE. This is a little step away from my normal content. Through this process to learn Japanese （日本語）, I have found a few Japanese （日本人） penpals. Although I am still very new to the language, I think that using the language to write letters will be a good way to practice writing and to expand my vocabulary. I feel that society has moved away from handwritten letters as technology has made it much easier and faster to email, text, or even video conference. I use all these methods and enjoy the ease that technology provides, but feel you lose a little of the personal touch. Thus, I was excited to be able to find others that still enjoy a handwritten letter. Albeit a little old fashioned, I thought it would be a nice touch to seal the letters with a wax seal. I searched the internet extensively for a stamp that I could buy, but after a while I decided I couldn’t find something that I liked that was prefabricated and decided to get a custom stamp made from my own design.
The first step was to make a design, although stamptitude had a web based design studio, I decided to use Adobe Illustrator. This allowed me to build a graphic instead of customizing a stock image. Here you can see my design from Adobe Illustrator. The black areas are meant to be raised wax and the white areas are where the stamp will press the wax. The magenta area is just a guide line to show placement of design on the stamp face. The design consist of a 桜 （さくら）wrapped by my name in にほんご（日本語）：
Once you have placed your order through stamptitude you have to go back into your account and upload your design file. After a week or two you get an email with the an image (the image at beginning of post) and tracking information. Here is a picture of the finished stamp face. You can see that they have milled out the areas that I designated to be raised wax also they have reversed the design so that when it stamps the wax it leaves the correct impression.
Here is my first attempt to use my stamp. I am new to wax seal stamping and I had a problem with black forming on the wax stick as I was melting it. I am unsure what I was doing wrong, but the black color is my fault not the stamp’s. The wax seal that is produced is just as I designed it to be. I realize that I did not leave enough space between the bottom of my letters and the edge of the raised ring not allowing the wax to fill in the small gap. This design flaw has the letters run in to the center impression. Once again this is not a fault in the stamp, but a bad design on my part.
Here is my one complaint about the product:
The handle has two cracks in the area of the bolt that connects the head of the stamp. As of now it is still holding firmly, but I am concerned about the life of this handle. I fear that with some use those cracks will continue to split and will release the bolt that holds the stamp face on the handle.
Stamptitude provides one of the best value in the custom wax seal stamp market. Look around and you will see prices going up to hundreds of dollars but this custom stamp was just 26 dollars for the 30mm size. Yes I feel the handle is an issue, so it may be a better option to go to their deluxe wax seal stamp. This stamp has a brass handle instead of the wooden handles on their standard wax seal stamps. The deluxe will cost you 35 dollars for the same 30mm size, but may be well worth it. The extra 9 dollars may extend the life span.
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