Recently I've become interested in another weapon in the stationer's arsenal: the humble rubber stamp. It started off a few years ago when I picked up a cheap self-inking rubber stamp kit from my local branch of Lidl. It is the sort which is a tabula rasa: a blank slate onto which you put your own message. Rather predictably I put my name, address and telephone number on it. I used it a few times, and then put it away in the desk and forgot about it until recently. When I dusted it off the other week, the ink pad had dried out, and my efforts to re-ink it with a bottle from my local unnamed stationers were unsuccessful.
I bought a Colop date stamp from the stationers, but I really wanted an address stamp, so eventually and after much procrastination I ordered one from customstampsonline.com. I used their online stamp designer, and had a traditional rubber stamp made up, the sort which requires a separate ink pad. It's very good indeed and I'm delighted with it. I've already used the new stamp on correspondence and for putting my name and address on various books in my library. I hope you don't mind, but I don't wish to show it here as, even though I don't hide my name on this blog, I don't want my home address plastered all over the internets. Needless to say if I send you a letter or card, you'll see it!
Now that I have my fine new stamp, I was left with a redundant self-inker, albeit one I need to use with the ink pad. What to do? Another recent interest of mine is in mail art and stamping, after stumbling across this website from Fluxus mail artist Ruud Janssen from Breda in the Netherlands, who curates an archive of rubber stamps. With a bit of work in swapping the letters and numbers around, my old stamp could now have a new purpose, and reproduce any slogan I wanted. Again I chose the obvious message, and here it is in all its inky glory:
I suspect I will change it in time, however. One candidate for the space is one of my favourite quotes, from an old Prefab Sprout song, "Couldn't Bear to be Special":
All words are trains for moving past what really has no name
Which fits in nicely with another element of mail art which interests me, that of asemic writing. Whilst writing this post, it struck me that this entire blog post is probably meaningless, a collection of words with no content or message at all. Oh, the futility. But then, I remembered the tabula rasa. So I leave it to you, Dear Reader, to impose your own interpretation on it...