Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Art You Can Make: Stamps

I mentioned a stamp project the other day.  It's not particularly innovative: there's no decoupage, or DIY, or staple guns, or mod podge, or rub n buff.  Just some cool images being used as cool images.

When I cleaned out my teen bedroom at my parents house (I managed to avoid it for 20 years because I lived away), I found some rather random treasures.  Including a little stone inlay box that fits in my palm, filled with a small collection of stamps from exotic places.  I have an excellent memory--the joke in my family is that I can tell you what I was wearing on any specific occasion--but I have absolutely no recollection of where these stamps came from, just when I collected them, or why the sudden interest.  Yet I do know, for certain, that they are mine: I remember putting them in the little oval box and worrying about crushing the corners (which I did do.)

I had been wanting a series of something for the long, plain hallway upstairs.  I even bought six Ikea ribba frames in a light wood long enough ago that I could no longer return them (and that is LONG in Ikea years.)  The hallway connects the guest room, with its two fashion watercolor illustration and other works on paper, and the girls' room, with the cut-paper silhouettes, an oil painting, and some vintage works, all paint on paper. I was thinking photography.

But I wanted something very small scale.  I like the idea of intimate works in a hallway, where you kind of have to get close to see the piece.

Enter my little stamp collection.

I went through and chose the stamps that had the simplest, most graphic presence so they would "read" at a bit of a distance, and tried to focus on pieces with colors from the two bedrooms.  I played around with different groupings, and ended up using these:

I love that they are from the 70s (how appropriate to my decor), that a number of them were special edition Olympics stamps, and that several have been canceled.

The stamps were a little TOO small on their own, and would have required special mats, which would have been pricey and/or a mat-cutting pain in the ass (so glad we bought that mat cutter, back in the day).  So I scanned the stamps.  My scanner is not exactly high resolution, so I found I was only able to blow them up a little bit: just enough to be more than a stamp.  Actually, they worked as big as 3x5 or 4x6, but they started to look like postcards, and I wanted to preserve their stamp-ness.  Stampiness?  Essence of stamp.

I printed them on heavy watercolor paper to give a bit of weight and texture, and slapped them in those Ribba frames.

I have to say, I love the way they turned out!  they are most likely temporary, but I'm so happy to have something up on that wall.  The laundry room is in the middle of the hallway, an I love catching a glimpse of these two while I fold laundry out of the dryer.

What a glamorous life I lead!

What about you: any good ephemera to scan and mount as art?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. love it! I've played around with similar ideas when i rediscovered my old stamp collection from my Aussie granddad (he loved British Colony stamps)... I played around with some ideas here:


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...