As a teen, I wished I had a signet ring — with my family crest, perhaps. Of course, my family has no crest and I really didn’t want to mess with the wax and I doubted the post office looked kindly on those forms of expression.
But far into adulthood, I liked the idea of leaving a mark, one I designed and that spoke for me in some way. And so, for several years now, I’ve carved stamps.
I have also carved multiple stamps to achieve a larger image. To create the apple tree I made two trunk pieces, two branch stamps and the apple. It’s on my to-do list to make a leaf stamp so this can be an all-season tree.
The stamps I like the best are a single image and initials are particularly seductive. I remember hours of doodling my initials in assorted styles in the margins of my college notes. And lately, I’ve sketched an image that expresses my larger self in a pretty efficient way.
I am obsessed with houses and their trappings — pets, lawns, gardens. I am happiest when traveling. How do I combine the two? In a house with legs. Furry legs and paws. Yes, a bit like Baba Yaga but cozier, not so witch-like. Another stamp project.
This fall I am teaching a class on journal keeping and I want my students to try this stamp-making business, to find a logo or icon that tells the viewer something about them. I’m eager to see what they produce.