Tuesday 16 December 2008

Meet Stamper of the Year Kate Bentley!

I asked Kate, winner of the 2008 Stamper of the Year competition (that's one of her winning entries on the right), to tell us a little bit about herself. Here's what she sent to me:

"I live in North Yorkshire with my partner, Pete, and our son, Matthew. I work full time as a finance manager at the British Library – no jokes about creative accounting please! I love nature, bright colours, gothic and other fancy architecture, singing (very out of tune) and chocolate as well as crafting. Over the years I’ve done dress making and knitting (before they were fashionable again) and cross stitching before moving onto paper crafts.

I have been stamping for about 10 years (or more like 40 if you count potato printing and lino prints at primary school). The first stamp I bought was actually for my son who as a toddler had a favourite story about lady birds. After that I bought some kids alphabet sets with pictures and made flash cards and alphabet sheets, then Disney stamps to do craft with him. Gradually I have progressed to more grown up themes and making cards, swapping ATCs and the like.

What I love about stamping is that, with no artistic talent or training, one stamp enables me to create everything from a professional focal image to a component in a back ground. I don’t often do the same thing twice, I’m always experimenting and trying something new so the versatility to work with an individual stamp in a variety of media and to combine stamping with other crafts is appealing too. My overall favourite stamp company are Crafty Individuals. I love flowers, birds and the like which feature prominently in their collection. I also like Paper Artsy’s Ink and the Dog and Urban Snapshots ranges and Invoke Arts for something a little out of the ordinary. I have also just discovered Darkroom Door stamps which have the added benefit of coming in gorgeous tins.

A year ago I joined a fantastic Yahoo group called Alter-Native whose membership of kind, generous artists have (unknowingly) supported me whilst I developed the confidence to try out new things and to share my work with others via monthly skinny book page swaps and altered book round robins. Entering the competition was a continuation of the personal challenge, both to try some new projects and to have the confidence to push my work out to a wider audience. Although I do make quite a few cards to raise money for charity, my style of work doesn’t lend itself to neatness and precision. You won’t find matting and layering with straight, even borders or painstaking shading in my work! I therefore decided to focus on non-card entries and started by thinking of media I thought I could successfully stamp onto; the rest was something of an experiment to see what developed.

My immediate reaction to winning the competition was to jump up and down, squeal loudly and giggle a lot! That was followed by frequent checking in the magazine to make sure I hadn’t imagined it. Now the prize goodies have arrived and it has really sunk in, I have to admit to feeling quite proud of myself."
Congratulations again to Kate!


  1. Congratulations on your winning :)
    Very funky bag!! Very cool!!

  2. It was great to read more about Kate after seeing her lovely winning creations in the magazine. I thought Kate must work in the art and craft industry as she is so talented, just stunned to learn she is in finance!!!!!

  3. Wow read all about her in the mag
    Amazing stamping and so talented!