Friday, January 28, 2011

Stamped on my Brain

I realized the other day that of all the things I've talked about on the blog so far, I haven't done an entry on one of the most basic and recognizable of ephemera -


I did write about postal items but not stamps in general!  Could it be that the stamp is so ubiquitous that it just flew under my radar?  Allow me to correct this post haste!  :D

I adore stamps.  I've mentioned that I've been collecting ephemera since I was a kid - stamps were the first kind!  I got my stamp collection starter kit when I was in second grade and dollar for dollar it was probably the best Christmas present my parents could've gotten me.  I pored over the stamps in that set and was fascinated by the different languages, styles, alphabets and people represented in these tiny works of art. Even to this day, when I see these stamps pictured here, it takes me right back to Christmas 1975.  

Unfortunately, I gave up my stamp collection when I discovered it wasn't "cool" and didn't really think much about it again until about 1997, when I had an inexplicable desire to visit the nearest hobby shop and buy a new bag of stamps.  I categorized them my country and theme and filled a sketchbook with them.  I didn't really do anything with them except admire the collection.

All of that changed, however, when I discovered the artwork of Nick Bantock.  If you love stamps but are unfamiliar with his work, I urge you to pick up the Griffin and Sabine trilogy at your local library or bookstore and start from there.  His artwork IS stamps and letters and mail art!  You can actually take the letters out of the envelopes and read them (you can talk e-books all day long; these books require you to participate, which you just can't duplicate on a Kindle).  I own nearly every Nick Bantock book ever written but I think my favorite is "Urgent: 2nd Class".  This is one of the books I read where I discovered how amazing stamps can be in collage.

I think my style is quite different than Mr. Bantock's but he has influenced my collage in countless ways.  One of the best things about using stamps in collages is that everyone will interpret the stamp differently.  The possibilities are endless!  Here are just a few of the many collages I've done using the wonderful postage stamp:


  1. Thank you, Diane! :D I appreciate that so much! :D

  2. I love stamps too! My 5th grade teacher gave them to us as rewards for a perfect spelling test. I had a large collection.

  3. Hi Mel. I use postage stamps in my art work - I have a huge vintage collection of my own and one that's inherited. I love to use old Australian stamps in my collages - I did one every day last year which are currently on exhibition. You can see them on my blog from last year

  4. Thanks for commenting, Dianne & Heather! :D I think it's great that we all share the love of postage stamps! :D Heather, your collages are GORGEOUS! Thanks for sharing!