Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hand Cut Stamp Portraits ca 1980-1983

Way back in the 80's brother James introduced me to hand cut stamps, something he was using in his calligraphy work. I was pretty familiar with making relief prints, having done woodcuts and linocuts for years. I embarked on a three year project where I cut hundreds of stamps of everyday objects, often in funny situations--e.g. a group of bulls with suits and called it "Business Lunch"; a Teddy Bear with an erection called "Teddy's Surprise". (Side note: the big surprise undoubtedly was to the client of mine who bought a large stamped print that I was exhibiting at the Three Rivers Arts Festival--a collection/collage of many hand cut images and buried within the group is the one image of the Teddy Bear with the erection--never heard from that guy again.)

Anyway, within this group of stamps are a few portraits. The top one is really more of a "conceptual" portrait--not really meant to look like me as much as to express me as the subject of the dilemma.

All these stamps are cut into ArtGum erasers: the standard 1 x 2 inch size. The small ones are one-half of an eraser; the larger ones are two erasers glued together. I contacted the ArtGum people--Eberhard Faber-- to see if they'd sell me larger pieces of ArtGum and they said no, they couldn't because it would negate their copyright on the product.

1 comment:

crustypiman said...

You definitely do know how to keep yourself busy! I love all of these. The conceptual one is hilarious (and so is the story behind "Teddy's Surprise.") You did a great job of expressing a lot with these little squares of Artgum. I can't say that I have a favorite since I love them all, but if I had to choose, it would be the one with the shifty eyes. Pretty suspicious character, I'd say.

Great work Dennis. Keep it up (no reference to Teddy intended).