Friday, 23 September 2016

Mail Art Envelopes.

How did the UWE summer school Artistamps get to their destinations ? 
I sent them off in these rubber stamped envelopes. 

Mail Art isn't just a thing, but an action too. 
It can be an euphoric experience being the recipient,and the posting can be a magical as well. If you're lucky, post office clerks will join in, and collaborate with you, taking time (much to the annoyance to the remaining queue) to select colour, or theme related illustrated commemorative postage stamps to stick on your mail.

Dispersing UWE Artstamps around the world

Craig, Jen, Jane, Becky, Steve & Charlotte dispersed their stamps around the world via the Mail Art network. Correspondent Artists, the "Sticker Dude" and Vizma Bruns were some of the lucky recipients. 

Stamp collection photographed by Vizma Bruns ( they arrived safely - Phew !! ) 

Artistamps from UWE summer school

During one the summer months I ran a summer school at the Centre for Fine Print Research, part of University of the West of England. The focus was Artistamps, participants made sheets of postage stamps out of carved erasers and perforated paper. Using a variety of methods they made the classic perforated marks; adapted sowing machines, roulette leather tools (with funky foam underneath when piercing paper), and the department's victorian perforating machine, were all employed

" Snail Mail " stamps by Charlotte Hall.

Craig Atkinson stamps

" Obsolete " stamps by Jane

Space Race themed Artistamps by Steve Tarry.

" Secret " Stamps by Chloe Alexander

" Donkey " & Ice "Scream" stamps by Rebecca Weeks
" Cats " by Jen Goldsworthy

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Receive Artistamps Through The Post !

Hello everyone,

I'm going to be running a (Rubber Stamp) Artistamps workshop from 20th July to the 22 July at the University of the West of England, Bristol. 
The participants and I are very keen to, and interested in sending these faux stamps out into the world. 
If anyone would like to receive some of the Artistamps please send Mail Art envelopes or post cards to my address before the workshop date, and we'll return your Mail covered with our stamps.
Please email me to obtain the  address. 

Hope this finds you well. 

What is an Artistamp ? 

Artiststamps, or artists’ stamps, are closely associated with mail art; they reflect its spirit of marrying art and the everyday. Stamps signify payment, and mail artists test and tease the postal system with their playful appropriation of this official form of evidence.


Monday, 30 May 2016

The S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive

The Minnesota Centre for Book Arts have acquired both Scott Helmes and William “Picasso” Gaglione's extensive Rubber Stamp collections. 

To help establish this magnificent collection, MCBA has opened a Kick Starting Campaign 

Here's the link, please make a donation ! 

The H/G Archive is one of the largest repositories of rubber stamps and stamp-related materials in the world. Comprised of hundreds of commercial and one-of-a-kind boxed sets and over 70,000 individual stamps spanning a period of 120 years, the H/G Archive is both comprehensive and incredibly diverse. In addition to physical stamps, the collection includes original stamp art, artists’ books, limited edition publications, journals, catalogs, reference materials, correspondence art, assemblings, design specifications, posters, and production materials.  

The mission of the H/G Archive is to preserve historical, rare and unique tools of artistic expression while maintaining their accessibility to artists wishing to incorporate them into their creative practice. It is a living archive where use by artists and researchers is encouraged.

An exhibition in Open Book’s second floor Literary Commons presents just a few examples of the H/G Archive’s holdings. It offers a rudimentary history primer and demonstrates rubber stamp use by contemporary artists. From Dada and Fluxus practitioners to concrete poets and correspondence artists, rubber stamps facilitate creativity through their inherent immediacy and operative flexibility. They allow artists to simultaneously reference and critique a range of topics from banal day-to-day life to long established social institutions. 

The S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive will officially open to the public in mid-2017 after initial documentation and cataloging has been completed. At that time it will begin fulfilling its mission by providing unique resources for art-making to emerging and established artists; serving as an educational collection that demonstrates history and social change; supporting future exhibitions and workshops; preserving and maintaining a traditional creative practices; and enhancing Minnesota Center for Book Art’s programming.



Scott Helmes is a visual poet who began collecting rubber stamp sets in 1974. His poetry stretches the limits of language, explores the multifaceted concepts of meaning, and encompasses all manners of reading. His work also investigates typographic concepts, printing methods, and alternative letter forms within the modern meaning of communication. Helmes’ poetry is realized through a variety of techniques and materials such as rubber stamps, stencils, and collage. He has exhibited internationally and his work is in the collections of some of the world’s leading institutions, including Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, Paris’ Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and Frankfurt’s Museum für Kunsthandwerk.


An avid collector of all things, William “Picasso” Gaglione was the original owner of Stamp Francisco and has been involved with rubber stamp art and rubber stamp manufacturing for decades. He is currently the co-proprietor of Chicago's Stampland. His artistic influence on the world of rubber stamping has been documented extensively through numerous international exhibitions and publications. As a publisher, he has produced multiple boxed exhibition catalogs and assembling periodicals such as Stampzine. Gaglione has created many aliases and identifications during his long career as a conceptual artist (Picasso, Dadaland, etc.) and he continues to prolifically create and perform as a neo-Dadist, Fluxus practitioner, and correspondence artist.

Craft of Medicine at the Welcome Collection Reading Room

The Craft of Medicine at the Welcome Collection's reading room was a great success,
the discussions taking place during the day were inspiring and insightful. I had many a visitor commenting on the links between teaching, patient consultations and how to offer support encouragement during these interactions.

I took part of my rubber stamp archive along, visitors to my table spent time experimenting with them, making all manner of interconnecting print impressions. Its always fascinating to watch people using my stamps and the marriages of colour and stamp subject matter they create.
I also taught several surgeons to carve their own rubber stamps, they found it to be not only a practical and immediate process , but a therapeutic one to boot - of course they were very good at it - all that practice of with sharp scalpels.

Here is a link to another similar event organised by the great Roger Kneebone and the Art Workers Guild - this should give you a flavour of such meetings.

Thinking With Your Hands

And here's a picture of the Reading Room, an inspiring place to work and talk.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Craft of Medicine: Illumination through Conversation - Welcome Collection - Saturday 14 May 2016

I've been invited to take part in what will no doubt prove to be an insightful day of conversations between artists/crafters/makers and clinicians.

The Craft of Medicine: Illumination through Conversation
Saturday 14 May 2016

What can a surgeon and a tailor learn from one another? More than you might imagine…

The concept of ‘bespoke’ - a collaborative process founded on a relationship of trust and mediated through the highest levels of craftsmanship - provides a rich metaphor for clinical care. But framing medicine as a craft can bring other unexpected insights, challenging assumptions and open new ways of thinking.

Join clinicians and craftsmen in an unconventional day of informal conversation that invites you to explore hidden similarities between apparently unconnected areas of expertise. And try some handiwork of your own.


Roger Kneebone, surgeon, GP and academic
A group of diverse and expert clinicians, including surgeons and GPs

Craftsmen from The Art Workers' Guild:

Vicki Ambery-Smith (jeweller),
Joshua Byrne, ( bespoke tailor from Saville Row )
Andrew Davidson (wood engraver and illustrator)
Stephen Fowler, (rubber stamp carver)
Rachael Matthews (textile artist)
Fleur Oakes (lacemaker)
Jane Smith (hatmaker)

This event is FREE.