Years ago, I think it was the late 80s, when I first got on the internet I was on Prodigy. I typed in "Rubber Stamps" and found a small group of about 20 people who were chatting on a shared list about stamping. They all had stamp names like Stampo or Ex Posto Facto or Rubber Queen or Arto Posto. The group was extremely active in mailing stuff back and forth. When I say stuff, I mean stuff. Sure there were cards and envelopes, but also paper plates, Barbie dolls, shoes and all matter of other stuff unadorned, unwrapped, unboxed, but definitely stamped both with postage and rubber stamps and the Post Office let it all go through. We were a tight group. We joked, we argued over what is art and we shared each others ups and downs. Most of us had not met in person. Through the years several of us opened stores and several of us started stamp lines. Some became involved in mail art, some in formal art and a few drifted away. When we come across each other either in person or online, it is a warm and friendly reunion. It is as if we are family and had grown up together. Solid old friendships, they are.
Rubber stamping during my involvement, has gone through many transformations. It started out as funky and quirky and then became very cute with fluffy animals and fat simple flowers. Then it transformed itself into sophisticated art designs and I think now it has gone back to mostly cute and is generally clear stamps for scrapbookers full of words and phrases, flowers and scrolls. There was a 20 year heyday for stamps that is slowly fading away. The conventions have dwindled and there are very few true stamp stores left.
What made me think about all this? Yesterday I had to move all my stamp storage to get at the phone jack in my art room. I realized that I had not used a fraction of my stamps in a long time. I thought that maybe I should try to sell them or donate them to a school art department. As I looked at them, I realized how much I love those old friends, my stamps, and could not part with them, so back they went into their drawers. I will use them again, I am sure.
Today John hung an old architectural piece we recently purchased on impulse. I love how it looks over the doorway!