Last week I started to carve my own hanko. My Sensei found me a stone. Don’t know what kind.
But one thing I can tell you is that it is very soft. You can smooth it down with sandpaper. Which is how I flattened it out to prep the surface. First with rough sandpaper. Then with really fine stuff.
From there, I had to find the right style of character. My Shodo name is Sho-Un. I could try and get both onto the stone, but frankly it’s a lot to expect on my first go so I just went with the first character, Sho. I checked out a book with the right style for these things.
But since this is a stamp, you have to carve the reverse.
From here I tried to cut around the kanji, the red area. Almost immediately, I cut across the edge.
Fortunately, you can just sand it away and start all over again.
Which I did.
Finally, I mangled my way through to a finished product. When I say finished, I don’t mean polished by any means. I only mean to say I stopped carving.Below is just partway through.
You can see the left side pretty well. The right is a disaster.
Just in case I might have applied the ink badly (hey I can hope right?), I tried it again a couple more times.
Long story short, there was no problem with the ink. Still, it was a lot of fun, and a great experience.