I wasn’t able to make any stamps for 10 weeks because of the Covid-19 lockdown in my state. When non-essential businesses were finally allowed to reopen, I found it hard to get the supplies I needed. I don’t ever want to be unable to make stamps again, so I have had to find other suppliers and to make sure that I won’t be restricted to any one supplier for anything. I’ve had to re-examine every aspect of the stamps I make. When I first started with stamps, more than 10 years ago, I was using a cheap transparent photopolymer that was poor quality and not durable. I quickly switched to laser engraved rubber. At the time I used red rubber and I stayed with that, mostly because the web site photos showed red rubber and I never had any reason to change. I’ve decided now to switch to gray rubber. It is just as durable as red rubber, just as resistant to heat and to sunlight, to solvents and acids. It’s easy to clean, and may actually last longer than red rubber. It’s easier for me to get, and it’s almost odorless- I did get some complaints about the strong smell of the red rubber when brand new (the smell fades over time). Gray is also a correct color for WWII, although they were made differently then (without a laser, of course). Here is a picture of the material I will be using. It’s made in Austria.

Gray is a correct color for WWII, although the stamps weren’t laser engraved back then, of course. Here are some photos of original stamps offered by sellers online.

I’m taking new photos for the web site and will have the site updated this week. For a while, I will have some red and some gray stamps as I transition to using the new material.

I’ve also decided to keep some of the stamp sheets in stock, rather than always making everything to order. It feels good to be back in business.