“Everybody can do it,” says Oscar Hansen of the art of rubber stamping. For over twenty-five years Hansen, owner and operator of Door County Rubber Stamps, has promoted the many possibilities rubber stamps offer. “You can do it however you like. You can stamp on anything – paper, wood, plastic, glass, even sandpaper. It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3.”
Hansen stands amongst thousands of original rubber stamps in her Sturgeon Bay shop. “I know what I like, but I can’t draw,” laughs Hansen who calls on artists Julie Young, Sherry Londo, and Helene Spears to design the rubber stamps, which cover a wide range of themes – from nautical, holiday, and, of course, Door County. “My first line was by Julie Young – it was the line of Door County Kids,” explains Hansen. The line features children swimming, boating, fishing, cherry picking and more. Other stamps feature Victorian era figures, horses, Door County lighthouses, angels, and word sayings.
“I have filled every nook and cranny with my own product,” smiles Hansen. “What people get is a really professional and neat look – clear, clean, and crisp images – because we have deep impressions in our stamps and hand trim the edges.”
Hansen welcomes novice as well as experienced stampers and scrapbookers to her shop to work on their projects. “The heat’s on, the friendship tea is on,” she says. “I can get everybody started.”
Hansen seats herself at the worktable, outfitted with a variety of supplies. She demonstrates the simple, classic art of stamping.
“There is no right or wrong way to do it,” she says. “Some people will measure themselves against others – but then gain self-confidence and realize that when they do it their way it’s okay.”
Hansen also encourages experienced stampers to experiment with their stamps. “There are so many different uses and applications,” she says, adding, “They may think a stamp head can only be used as a stamp head, but it’s so much more than that.”
For those who wish to hone in on their skills, Hansen offers a variety of classes – from Stamping 101 to Stamped in Nature to Door County Journal. Customers need only call ahead and request a class. “I tailor classes to customers,” explains Hansen. “I supply everything for the classes, just come in and sit down.”
Hansen also offers open table times, for folks to sit and work on projects. “It’s great therapy, people can gather and chatter, come and make art,” she says, adding, “If art isn’t shared, what good is it?”
Door County Rubber Stamps, open daily, is located at 751 Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay. For more information call 920.746.9080 or visit http://www.doorcountyrubberstamps.com.