Surprisingly enough, I’ve carved several eraser stamps recently.

First, I did a maple leaf, strictly for a practical reason. We’ve been looking around our woodlot to see if we have any maple trees we might want to tap next spring. There are a few scattered along the trails. How can we recognize them next March, when there are no leaves in sight? I thought I might make some little signs to hang on them. What better way than to stamp a scrap of wood with the image of a maple leaf, in permanent oil-based stamp mount indexing ink? So by now there are six trees so marked. Will we really tap them? If we do, will we get any syrup? Stay tuned.

Secondly, it was the world series. I’ve always liked the way carving stamps lets me be timely. If I want to send out a bunch of postcards commenting on current events, I can carve a stamp illustrating my ideas, print up an edition of cards, and get them in the mail before everyone has forgotten what had happened. So during the fourth game of the series I carved a baseball with a Red Sox “B” on it and another stamp of a little sock (it may not be obvious to non-stampers, and knitters may be so used to the idea that you do socks in pairs that they don’t think about this, but to stamp “sox”, plural, all you need is a stamp of one sock. It’s just the stamping that has to be plural).

Thinking ahead, I had saved cardboard from two six-packs of beer to use as card stock. This has several benefits: it saves the expense of buying card stock, recycles paper, and adds some meaning to the card — it’s not just watching baseball, it’s drinking beer and watching baseball. The downside is that my edition is even more limited than usual. In fact, because they were six-packs of two different kinds of beer, it’s two editions of two postcards each.

I did scan one of the stampings before putting the cards in the mail. Since it’s generally considered polite not to post images of mail art on the web before the recipients get the goods, I’ll refrain from including a picture for a few more days. Any readers in Houston, New Hartford NY, Moore OK, or Milford OH (probably a disappointed Cleveland Indians fan, but I owe her lots of mail art), please comment here if you get a card.

For conceptual art reasons, though it doesn’t show on the card, I wanted to make those cards while the world series was going on. But of course I was hoping for a sweep. Now that it happened, I carved a broom. I expect to make a larger edition of cards, not on beer carton cardboard, with all three of the ball, sock, and broom stamps. Anyone who wants one (up to the first dozen or so, but that’s more than I have regular readers, I think) please email deanlie at yahoo dot com with a snailmail address.

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