Our 2018 Rubber Stamps were some of my favorite stamp designs yet. This year, we had access to a laser cutter in our studio, so I could spend more time fine tuning the designs and getting the best results possible. Maker spaces are a great place to start, but it can be tough to get time on popular tools (and the laser cutter was the most popular tool in the workshop).
Back in 2012, as Eridu Society we riffed on the Fertility 2.0 art theme and I came up with the Fertile Minds Idea Deli concept. Aside from building some fun stuff like a deli counter and street scene murals, the plan was to create what I called an interaction engine. We had built a deli counter, but had filled it with plush meats and cheeses. We weren’t serving coldcuts or sandwiches, but ideas and conversation.
We really had no idea what to expect. We weren’t sure if people would like it and want to engage, or if they’d just nod and smile as they walked or pedaled down the street. Since I had access to a laser cutter at the makerspace I belonged to in San Francisco, I got the idea of making an assortment of unique rubber stamps. Instead of the standard default-world messages you would expect from stamps you get at the office supply store, ours said ‘Dirty Burner’ and ‘Keep Burning Man Potentially Fatal’ and other funny sayings. It was yet another way to interact, and I thought that maybe if they didn’t buy into the other elements they might want to put a stamp on something.
To say it turned out to be a hit would be a massive understatement. We had lines – actually, we had crowds. People not only loved stamping stuff, but stamping themselves! They also liked stamping others (with consent, of course). Not only were people stamping the friends they arrived with, but they were striking up conversations with strangers to discuss stamp choices, and where to place them, and offering to help stamp a hard-to-reach spot. It was so much fun that we’ve been bringing it back and making new stamps every year since.
Each year, I retire stamps that were either less popular or that were tied closely with a previous year’s theme. I’ve got to get rid of the old ones to make room for the new ones. Seriously, we have dozens of stamp designs and the number of choices can be a little overwhelming.
I knew I wanted to do something with our Brainy Bot design (see above), plus with the I, Robot theme there were a lot of new sayings to add. Since we had been placed at 4:15 on Bender, I couldn’t resist adding a few favorite phrases from the popular Futurama character.