Saturday, December 21, 2013

Using Postage Stamps in Artwork

Scroll #1: Flowers

Madonna and Child - not the postage
stamp but the picture on the self-
adhesive sheet. These images
are always large and very distinct.
I love postage stamps!  Growing up in Connecticut, I collected them since I was a child and sent away for catalogs from states faraway, like Montana and Florida, just so I would get mail and some new stamp I'd never seen before.  When they came out with commemorative stamps (when was that?), I bought all the beautiful ones I could afford.  Then when I studied in Japan I purchased them in lovely sheets.  Even better, my Japanese friends would send me letters and the front of the envelope would be covered with gorgeous stamps so the envelope with the stamp would be saved as well as the letter.
A number of years ago I wanted to include them in my fabric collage cards so I decided to cover each stamp with a piece of tulle, usually black when the stamp was dark (you can see a dark image below it very nicely), so that the stamp floated inside the netting.  For my most recent Christmas and holiday cards this year, I decided to just machine sew the stamp to the fabric and card below.
Earlier this year, the Surface Design Association (SDA) state group had a fabric challenge in which I used many of the flower and flag stamps from Japan.  Because scrolls fascinate me and I wanted to know how they were made, I created one out of obi and kimono fabric (see top image).  These stamps were each covered with a small piece of tulle netting to encase the stamp and allow it to float.

I'm looking forward to more ways to use the stamps I have, especially in themed pieces.