Thursday 20 July 2017

Pre-Biennial Workshop: Alternative Printmaking with Rubber Stamps. MCBA

Part of my residency at MCBA, I was invited to run a 2 day rubber stamp workshop. 

Over the course of this two-day workshop you will explore the creative potential of rubber stamp printing. We will carve rubber stamps from erasers, make single-color and multi-color stamp prints, and have exclusive access to MCBA’s S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive to use as inspiration or/and integrate with your own print impressions. There will be time to bind the group’s work in a limited edition pamphlet book.

Here are some of the workshopper's outcomes. 

Several participants made Artistamps. 

Unusual Finds from the H/G Rubber Stamp Archive, Minnesota Centre for Book Arts.

In amongst the treasure troves, I found these curiosities. 

1. A Rubber Stamp traveling salesman's suit case. 

2. French School Stamps. 

3. A Spam Rubber Stamp

4. Wheel Stamps and Cube Stamps 

Zine Exhibition at MCBA

An interactive zine reading lounge,titled; Free for All  was held at MCBA during the summer. 
Books were hung using an ingenious device  -  a curtain hook no less.
Visitors spent quiet moments reading the zines selected by Twin Cities Zine Fest. And more often or not I spotted young children enjoying the space, running in and out of the hanging publications.   

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Inside the boxes from the H/G Rubber Stamp Archive, Minnesota Centre for Book Arts.

Over the length of the 4 week residency I gradually opened all the boxes in the archive. Each held a treasure trove of rubber stamp surprises.

Friday 14 July 2017

Rubber Stamp Artist in Residence at MCBA Minnesota Centre for Book Arts July 2017

The Minnesota Centre for Book Arts has recently acquired the rubber stamp archive of two leading lights from the history of rubber stamp art; Scott Helmes and William “Picasso” Gaglione.


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.

Jeff Rathermel, the fantastic curator of MCBA, invited me to be the archive's first rubber stamp artist in residence. 

The large archive, (amounting to 70,000 stamps, and stamp related material) was in the process of being documented and catalogue whilst i was there. I was very kindly given access to the rubber stamp archive room.

Wednesday 5 July 2017

VIVA Book for Scott Helmes.

A few months ago I received this invite from Scott Helmes, the concrete poet and rubber stamp artist. 

Hello Stephen: by way of introduction, I received you name from Jeff Rathermel at MCBA. I do a series of simple artist's books done with VIVA paper towels where I send you 5 to 6 pages for you to add to, bind, and return. I'm working on numbers 28-30. When I reach #30, I send them to Vamp & Tramp, a book dealer who then sells them as a group. 

My contribution was a book consisting of 'Found Stamp' print impressions.