Thursday, 1 November 2012

Philatelia : the things that we (do) make for love....

This is going to be a very quick post as part of my new resolve to post more and less (more frequent, shorter posts, if this makes sense!)

Once upon a time (did I say shorter somewhere?), I was in a job with which I had a love/hate relationship. Through this job I received lots of letters (with stamps!), many of them from the USA. I didn't want to become a proper stamps collector, but I was nevertheless attracted to and fascinated by those colourful little pieces of paper (after all, they are little, portable, affordable pieces of popular art, that travel a lot, carrying stories on and with them!!!)
So I started to 'hoard' (collect randomly) them with the view to use them later in some kind of textile related project.
At the time the job was giving me a lot of grievance and not much joy, so an idea clicked in my head to make  good of something that was bad. Amongst the few good things there were the stamps, and I was struck by some very beautiful American stamps with a 'love' theme. So the idea of the Love Series jewellery was born.

These are the very first earrings and brooches made with some love stamps

The technique used involved a fabric paper collaged background mounted on heavy Vilene. The stamps were cut and  rearranged, so that the 'L' word wasn't too obvious and I could play a bit with the shapes. Several media were then added, such as gold leaf, paints, sequins and they were finished off with hand and free machine embroidery, jewellery findings and various coats of varnish (acrylic wax). The pieces were for my personal use and turned out surprisingly resilient: the brooch got 'wet' several times, and I had to re-make one of the orange earrings, because I had lost the original.

The background used for the green/turquoise set (again I lost the the brooch and one of the earrings) included some Iranian comics and it was meant as a slightly ironical commentary about the not so loving relationship between the USA and Iran.

Some of the original stamps used for the turquoise set
The last two of the original 'rose love letter' stamps

I have now found other USA Love stamps and I intend to expand, experiment and carry on making more Love stamps jewellery, including necklaces and bracelets, using more media and different jewellery techniques.

For the time being these are some of my new creations based on different stamps and with a different shape but essentially the same technique

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