Being a Letterpress printer, I really do find the act of printing to be a tactile, sensual and beautiful thing. The way the letter or art forms are set up, the mixing of the ink, and the paper (in my case) hand-fed into the press is all just part of the process. There are so many factors that lead in to learning to print and THEN taking the next giant leap and deciding that youmustdothis for the rest of your life. I can certainly attest that it's not for the faint of heart— running such a business can certainly build some character (politely put on a rough day). Ideas, design, caring for your equipment, knowing your equipment like a part of your family are all another part of this everyday equation. A minor part, really. You can't really have a business at all without your clients.
With all of this being said, it's impossible for me to turn this part of my brain off in my down-time. Texture, letters, graphics and now, "hey—couldn't these sidewalk stamps be considered 'relief' printing?"— can all swim through my thoughts while I'm out and about.
While I'm certainly not the first person to consider the existence of Sidewalk Contractor Stamps, I do want to share a little of my daily environment with you. The above images were taken on a regular two-block walk in my neighborhood. We moved to Alameda, Calif. about a year ago, and I have to say, I have never, ever seen so many sidewalk stamps in my life. I absolutely love the one by L. J. Lorenzetti. While a quick google search told me that this business doesn't exist anymore, I love the fact that their business card lives on. I took a few liberties and added some of the civic stamps as well. My friend, Hannah, has a great blog featuring the stamps she has come across in and around Albany. She was recently contacted by a family member of one of the stampers and they sent her picture of the actual stamp here.
I poked around a little bit and found a company that still sells the current (polyurethane) stamps. About $150 here. I might just have to get one.
Take a look around. I'd love to see some pictures of stamps in your neck of the woods. xo Victoria