To some folks a rubber stamp is a bad thing. It suggests red tape, inefficiency and bureaucracy. To crafty folks a rubber stamp is a good thing. For want-to-be artists with lots of enthusiasm and no talent (me), a rubber stamp is a great thing. With a rubber stamp even the artistically challenged can create tolerable art.
In its natural state gum elastic (rubber) was a natural product with potential, but because it was expensive, scarce and behaved erratically; with any change in temperature, it was difficult to manufacture and had limited use. Thanks to Mr. Charles Goodyear’s happy accident in his wife’s kitchen, he discovered that: gum elastic + sulphur + heat = flexible temperature resistant rubber. The process was called vulcanization (Note: Mr. Goodyear was not a Trekkie. His term was an abstraction of the name of the Roman god of fire – Vulcan).
The first rubber stamps were used by businesses to mark parcels and manufactured products. Rubber stamping as a hobby gained popularity in the 1970′s and really exploded in the 1990’s with the scrapbook craze. Today, there are thousands of unique stamp designs. You can create personalized stationery, wrapping paper and notecards with rubber stamps. You can also use them to create home decor that is distinctive by stamping your walls, lampshades, curtains, linens and more. You will have a “stamptastic” time!
For this week’s photo challenge I’m sharing a few images from Casey Rubber Stamps in the East Village. I visited the shop one evening and picked up an art nouveau inspired letter “A”. Now I’m jonesing for one of their, simply amazing, Brooklyn Bridge stamps. I’m also eyeing a few of their tree stamps. I’m sure you see where this is going.