Post boxes (in a manner of thinking)…

If there are two things I love and cherish from my childhood it’s writing/posting letters and buying the stamps at the Post Office. My mum encouraged me with this (and it’s all her fault that I have no money because I am addicted to buying vast quantities of stamps!) and it has carried on into my adult life. Subsequently, I enjoy all of the new stamp issues released by the Royal Mail, as well as the range of definitive stamps (the different coloured ones, bearing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II).

I still write letters frequently to my friends and even once a fortnight to one friend in Carlisle, who writes back the following week. This has continued for over twenty-years. Quite an accomplishment really, in these modern times of computers and e-mail, for those that think that writing letters is ‘a dying art’.

Demo man
It just so happened that my Dad, Robert, who is a carpenter and joiner, was making several wooden boxes for gifts and asked me if I could do some ‘art’ on them. One required a silhouette of a digger – with the legend ‘Demo Man’ on it and the others required postage stamps. I bought myself some sepia ink, which is guaranteed to be waterproof) to create the images on the wooden surfaces.

Well, I enjoyed doing the digger one, which was well received by Bob – the recipient, but I totally enjoyed doing the ones with the postage stamps depicted on them. I must admit it was a challenge painting Her Majesty’s portrait, as she is one person that I have admired throughout my life – as she is, in my opinion, a marvellous diplomat and head of state. I hope she likes my version of her portrait too. If so, I might even get a Royal commission one day.

I tried to make one of the portraits look like a silhouette done in marquetry (inlaid work made from small pieces of coloured wood or other materials, used for the decoration of furniture), whilst the other stamp portrait I did in the style of the Machin definitive stamps. The grain of the wood slightly changes the look of the images as it runs through them, but this makes it look so much more genuine.  However, doing the copperplate-style scrolls in the corners I have to say wasn’t quite ‘a barrel of laughs‘.

I have dated them as it’s a nice way of remembering the year they were given and it makes these unique storage boxes much more collectable for future generations to enjoy…

4 thoughts on “Post boxes (in a manner of thinking)…

  1. Wow, that is some exquisite craftmanship from both you and your dad, Michael. I especially love the boxes with the “stamps” on them. Like you, I regret that real letter writing is becoming so rare in this day and age, but I still like to do it occasionally. And the best part of it is, putting my personally designed stamps and wax seal on it. If I’m going to be old-fashioned, I might as well do it properly.

    • Thanks for your great message, Peter, I really appreciate the feedback. Quite honestly, I was very impressed with your last letter to me – with the wax seal on the reverse. It was totally amazing and intact (all the way from Belgique!). I used to put wax seals on all of my letters (being a very old-fashioned gentleman), but I ran out of sealing wax. I also kept your personalised stamp, as I couldn’t part with that one. It’s nice to know that there are still people who communicate with paper and pen and take a pride in that. Keep up the good work with the letter writing my friend. Kindest regards, Michael

  2. I think it’s wonderful that you keep writing letters, as it is an art form in its own right, a very old art that should be continued through generations to come. I love the style of art you have put on those lovely boxes, created by an extremely talented craftsman, your father. We all need to collect something as it is a purpose in life, to collect something that you have done since a child is very special. Keep up your amazing art and look forward to your next blog. Yours Neil.

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Neil. I will keep writing the letters for as long as I can (I have got enough stamps to last me several thousand years!). I love collecting ‘things’, all sorts of things and these boxes are an ideal way of storing many of my smaller ‘treasures’. Take care of yourself and thanks again for reading my blog. M

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