Rubber Stamping: From Maya Indians to Scrapbooking
Who would have thought that your scrapbooking and card making
had a connection to the Maya Indians? Rubber Stamping is
certainly one of the fastest growing hobbies today, and for good
reason. With its inexpensive materials and creative versatility,
rubber stamping provides millions with hours of fun and
creativity. How did it all start?
? Spanish explorers were the first to talk about a "sticky
substance" that bounced, used by South America Indians. Though it
didn't revolutionalize the world at that time, these same Indians
were using a primitive form of rubber stamping to "mark and
tattoo" images on men and women.
? In 1736, Charles Marie de la Condamine, a French scientist
studying the Amazon, sent a piece of "India Rubber" back to
? Rubber got its name in 1770, when the scientist Sir Joseph
Priestly made a comment about a substance "excellently adapted to
the purpose of wiping from paper the mark of black lead pencil."
Hence the "rubbing out" of pencil marks gave it the term
"rubber". Up until this time, people wishing to erase pencil
marks had to use bread crumbs.
? Rubber Stamping owes much gratitude to a hardware store
owner who decided to quit his job to solve the "sticky problem"
he had heard about. Though his persistence was tested time and
again, even filing bankruptcy and going to jail for failure to
pay debts, Charles Goodyear eventually discovered that heat was
the secret to rubber's "curing".
? As early as 1866, a man carved information in a flat piece
of rubber and mounted it to a curved block of wood. This 4"x 6"
mounted rubber stamp was being used to print information on bath
? Early rubber stamps consisted mainly of words and phrases
used to mark packages and manufactured products. Stamping
suppliers began to spring up in Ohio and the West.
? Rubber stamping as a hobby took off in the early 1970's with
companies such as All Night Media (1974) and Hero Arts (1974).
Soon the craze had caught and many other companies decided to
cash in on a hobby that would last for decades.
? It wasn't until a boom in the 1990's that rubber stamping
became so popular with millions of crafter's worldwide. As
thousands of companies begin to produce rubber stamps, the
availability and unique designs become common everywhere!
It's no wonder why rubber stamping has turned into a worldwide
crafting phenomenon. Women and men alike have found hundreds of
creative uses for rubber stamps, from scrapbooking and
cardmaking, to gift bags and 3D artwork. Give it a try, you'll
Kathy Williams is a designer and producer of rubber stamps.
She has assisted in the production of hundreds of mounted rubber
stamps and themed rubber stamping sets. You can find her
rubber stamps at http://www.rubberstampingfun.com
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