Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finding Serenity in Stamps

Columnist David Warren writes on Canada's Ottawa Citizen website about serenity and stamp collecting.

Warren defines serenity as being “calm, clear, untroubled.” A collector himself, he says that stamp collecting, which "be done without a cell phone," creates that inner environment.

After pointing out how his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather enjoyed collecting stamps, Warren pens, "I inherited a lot of stamps, together with fond childhood memories of experiences and companionships predicated upon them. A great disordered mass found its way into boxes in the back of a closet, and then last year, out of the ridiculous notion that something must be done about them, I was hooked back, into a second childhood."

Calling stamps "exquisite, miniature works of art," Warren says he is repulsed "at too-numerous 'topical' stamps, in glib sets, printed on glossy, unwatermarked paper, by cheap processes of photo-lithography that reduce every composition to a mechanical array of dots, or pixels."

He then goes on to talk about his admiration for stamp engravers such as Czeslaw Slania saying, "The techniques involved in serious steel engraving — the skill, patience, and quality of attention that is required — will in themselves create a man [or woman citing Barbara Kowalska] of character."

Shown above, 1979 Buddha stamp from France.

To read the entire column, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM