Review of Essdee Mastercut
The other day, I decided I wanted to make a rubber stamp for the shop. I wanted something to press on products or the back of envelopes, to just add a little something to customer’s orders. I was confident with my experience in printmaking that I could make it myself and after some research, I went with the Essdee Mastercut Lino.
I purchased the Mastercut Lino because I could ‘carve your own printing stamps using this amazingly easy to carve, eraser-like material. The double-sided material can be drawn upon with a pen or pencil due to its light colour and ink receptive surface. It can be used with ink pads or block printing inks for a multitude of creative possibilities‘. This description made me confident that it would perfect for creating a stamp I could regularly use on a selection of my products.
Even though I had read good reviews on essdee’s mastercut lino, I was bitterly disappointed with the overall quality and functionality of it. While removing it from the packaging, it immediately started to crumble. Although I thought it was a little unusual I pushed on in cutting out my rubber stamp.
Tracing on a stencil was no problem and the design stuck to the lino well. I simply used tracing paper and a 2B pencil but I could see no problem with drawing directly onto the lino with either a pencil or pen.
Cutting it out on the other hand was… interesting. Remember I said it was crumbling when I removed it from the packaging? Well, it continued to crumble while I cut it. It’s impossible to carve fine lines or detail into the mastercut lino and that’s simply because of the crumbling. Curved edges became clumsy looking lines with random areas missing.
Even though I knew this stamp was pants I decided to press on and see what the mastercut was like taking ink. The ink performed well (I’ll be reviewing in another post soon) but the mastercut didn’t like it. No matter how much I pressed the ink onto the mastercut it just soaked it up. The ink would dry out before I was even able to stamp. It was difficult to stamp with as well and didn’t share any qualities of a regular rubber stamp. Due to the mastercut soaking up the ink like a sponge, the print was uneven and because of the crumbling left behind bits of the material in the ink.
Overall, it sucked. I would not recommend.