Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stamps and Seals and Art

First, I'm discovering a few new-to-me names on the Twitter, using the #typosphere hashtag. Now I'm following a new blog as a result of it, and wandering through another member's flickr stream, and seeing the mail art (some put together by fellow 'sphere dwellers) and then feeling really, really bad at the inadequate level of cool that my own letters pull off. I mean, seriously, have you seen what these people are doing with their envelopes? And here I get excited when I attempt a little typewriter doodle. Shameful.

You might remember my own foray into stamping, and I've been slowly committing other retro-witticisms to rubber, when one pops into my head and I have the time to dig through all the letters. I believe I'm up to three whole slogans now. Be amazed! Well, until you look at this guy's blog.

I've been sitting here thinking about where one could come by classy stamps (and by extension, wax seals, which I'm also obsessed with from way back), and how I could lay hands upon them, and ratchet up the cool. A little more reading through the blog at "eraser stamps" and then thinking back to Strikethru's own lino-art experiments... Well hey, it wouldn't be Clickthing if I didn't get all excited about another project, would it?

UPDATE #1: Can I just announce here and now that I love my wife?

She just came home with this, snagged from the remains of an estate sale in a "Free!" pile by the curb. Oh, this is awesomeness.

UPDATE #2: Can anyone deny that these are awesome when the kids sat down and churned out some art?
Stamp art 20110227
Kept 'em quiet for at least half an hour.


Mike Speegle said...

Contemplate, then, if you will, the fact that your own letter-art far outshines my own.

And then pity me.

J.A. said...

Long time mail artist here: my luck with wax seals has been mixed. Lately it seems those I've received have shattered while enroute. When I send a letter with one myself, I make sure to have the packet hand cancelled at the P.O. Art supply shops usually have rubber stamps these days, though the design selection can range from truly kitsch to the occasionally awesome. I am putting together a booklet on creating imaginary correspondences for a theater immersion project I've been invited to work on. When I get it done, I will send you a copy of it! For a fun read of the early anarchist-approach to this, see _Correspondence Art: Source Book for the Network of International Postal Art Activity_ [Paperback]Michael Crane (Editor), Mary Stofflet (Editor) It can be hard to find and has something of a worshipful following p.s. Mail art is its own slippery slope!

Strikethru said...

Ledeaux, I always wondered about that, whether wax seals would shatter in the mail. That is the only thing that has kept me from buying a wax seal kit.

MPC, must send you some mail art. I had a pretty good run of sending some out to folks recently, and then the baby moved into my office space upstairs, and well, that was that.

Elizabeth H. said...

I'd forgotten about your stamp kit find! I was just puzzling over how you'd managed a recent slogan stamp...

I've recently been the recipient of some amazing mail art, making me feel more and more deeply ashamed of my plain white envelopes and plain paper. I went to Michael's yesterday in search of some sort of signature stamp to use on my envelopes and ended up feeling dazzled by the options, especially the different types of stamp pads, so I walked out empty-handed. I'm easily intimidated by the crafty.

Notagain (Manual Entry) carves his own rubber stamps--he was making one at the Uppercase Books type-in. Very cool! I think you can get the materials and tools at most art stores. Betcha you could pull it off. Me, I'm lucky if I can make a straight cut with a pair of scissors.

Elizabeth H. said...

Not completely on-topic...but I just had this sudden flash-back memory of Mom making stamps with us by carving shapes into potatoes. They were very temporary stamps, of course, and couldn't really achieve extremely fine detail. I think we just used cheap kids' water-color paints as the "ink." Hm. Could be a fun afternoon project, huh?

mpclemens said...

@Speegle: you are on my Perpetual Pity list, don't worry.

@Ledeaux: I have some wax that is very shatter-iffic, but I also have more modern stuff intended for wedding announcements and such which has a more flexible nature to it. I've also seen faux-wax, which is meant to be run through a glue gun and then sealed (just colored glue, I suppose.) I have a stick of that which I want to try out, too.

@LFP: I think I know the one you mean. It's the third one, and it's starting to cut into my vowel supply. I'm going to have to start sloganeering without the letter E before too long. And coincidentally, I just stopped by Michael's briefly today to see if they carried a beginners lino set. They did not. But I did see a number of other scarily sharp implements that may serve just as well. I will do some more poking around for recommendations. I'm thinking those lovely soft white erasers might be easy to use, if they can hold an edge, and I'm sure I've got an unused one stowed away.

I remember doing the potato-stamps too, though I agree that their lifespan is limited.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing a Speedball Lino kit at an art supply store near me, I remember using that stuff to make linoleum block prints in the 8th grade. Wished I picked it up.

Strikethru said...

What an incredible estate sale find!

Nice art work by the kids. Old fart... lols.

mpclemens said...

Found a Speedball linocut kit at the local art/framing store. I despaired, but came across it in the clearance bin. Fate, she was a smilin'. I've since maimed a couple of erasers, and I'm getting (slightly) better. Expect results on the next round of outbound mail.