Friday, August 8, 2008

more rubber stamp..bookplate

Last night I received the rubber blocks I ordered in the mail, and decided to make a bookplate that I had always wanted to do for my father, who is a renowned scholar in Taiwanese Literature. He has been a continuous inspiration and supportive force for my artistic development. A book-a-holic himself, he believed the best way to encourage his only daughter's creativity was to feed her with tons of books.He was the person who introduced me this thing called "book plate"(mind you I grew up in Taiwan and we don't have such thing) and I was fascinated by the concept of claiming the ownership of a book by stamping on it. He asked me if I would design a bookplate for him, who owned hundreds of thousands of books and is always growing his collections, and I immediately liked the idea.
I never started that bookplate.Instead, I left my country to pursue my dream to be a musician. Years passed before I picked up the hobby of stamp carving, and another few months passed before I thought about carving more stamps.I recalled my promise, and I knew exactly what that bookplate needs to look like."I must carve that stamp," I thought.
The carving set was a gift from my father over 15 years ago(yes,I have carried it with me all these years). I needed one for my art class, and I remember vividly how I was laying in bed from a fever when my father handed me that dream carving set ("wow!this set must cost at least $10. $10!!!!"). When I went to the art class the next day, I was one of the few kids that had such a gorgeous carving set ( "it was imported from Japan too!"). I must also be the only one that is still carving stamps after so many years.

Since dad is a patriotic scholar, we must have the map of Taiwan on the bookplate.I also decided to highlight four cities(those little black dots on the island) that have special meanings to him.From north to south--

Taipei-where he received his college education
HsinChu-where he corrently resides and teaches
Tainan-where he grew up
Kaohsiung-where my mother grew up

The five Chinese characters read "This book belongs to Wan-Yi Chen"

And here is the progress of the stamp making.I started with the Chinese characters(the most difficult part) and finished with the decorative border.

By the way, it happened to be the Father's day(8/8) in Taiwan when I was carving the stamp--Happy Father's Day, dad!

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