Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cinderella, She Seems So Easy; “It Takes One To Know One”, She Smiles.

Not too long ago I was reminded that not all stamps are postage stamps that pay for sending a letter from Point A to Point B. Some are in fact fantasy postage stamps, made up by someone to represent a fictional state, country, or protectorate. Some are made to advertise commercially or for non-profit organizations. Some promote various causes, groups, or anything at all. Some are simply ars gratia artis. In the worlds of art and craft they are commonly know as artistamps. Philatelically speaking such non-postage stamps are called Poster Stamps or Cinderellas.

The first postage stamps in the 19th century were printed in sheets and cut one singly with scissors or a knife. With the invention and marketing of the pin-hole perforator, separating them became much easier. Today postage stamps are self-adhesive and peel off a backer. But as I was reminded that not all stamps must comer from the Post Office and be used for postage, I was struck by the idea of letterpress printing my own stamps and perfing them. This is what I have in fact decided to do. I’ve done a bit of research and the consensus from those who do this kind of work with a printing press as opposed to an inkjet printer (which some do use) is that a cut should be made with anywhere from 4 to 12 images in the standard stamp sheet format. Here's a nice example from Rachel Scott at Fox Paw Press:

All sorts of ideas come to mind and my first effort will be a simple Front Room Press stamp I can apply to envelopes or most anything. It will be a good opportunity to learn how to design something on the computer and have a plate made which I’ve never done. But even more fun will be to actually print and use them. This was a lot of my inspiration to get my perforator restored. Now it’s on to the next step. I’ll keep you posted.

No comments: