Thursday, May 9, 2013

Guitar Effect Pedals and Rubber Stamps?

OK, I'll admit, I am not a musician.  I quit trombone in the sixth grade.  So when Terry T. at Push + Pull Pedals contacted me about getting a stamp of the Sputnik space probe I didn't know what he was doing with it.  Afterwards I saw a picture of it on his facebook, and BLAM! there is was.  With kickass LEDs and everything.

So I began to appreciate what it looked like (and man did it look sharp), but what did it do?  So if you are like me and don't know jack about guitars, you would google guitar effect pedals to find out that they are electronic devices that modify the tone, pitch, or sound of an electric guitar. If you want to hear what they do, here is a video of one of Terry's pedals in action, as posted by Youtube user Brett Kingman.

OK, so they look sharp and SOUND awesome!

I was very happy that Terry wanted a lucha mask stamp done for him. I dig wrestling, and have done some lucha masks for other custom orders in the past. He shot me a design and the dimensions and again was stoked to see it with LED eyes! He also picked up a fortune teller looking stamp from my etsy shop and put that on his Mindbender pedal. HA! Love it. You can check in what he has in stock at his etsy shop or check out his Facebook page for new pedals he is making by hand.

So that was rad, but what happened next kind of shocked me. A LOT of people follow Terry at Push + Pull Pedals, and I started getting some really nice feedback on the stamps. Before I know it, other people who like Terry are masters at the craft of handmade effect pedal production, are contacting me about getting stamps for their handmade pedals.

Enter Jason at Pedal Monsters.  He ordered three stamps from me with some really challenging designs.  Some images work better for stamps than others, and while those three stamps came out 
OK, I think the finest of the three was the Bruce Lee stamp.  Jason says Lee was a childhood hero of his.  He put Bruce Lee's likeness on one of his Klone pedals as you can see in the picture. 

After that order Jason needed a stamp of his company's name and logo.  He was stamping it on some bags he was using to protect the pedals in.  A very nice compliment to a fine piece of metal and circuitry.  And just this past week I finished up a couple of other little logos that I think we will be seeing on some of his future pedals.   You can check out his work or buy some hardware at his website.

Needless to say, the folks out there that are in the market for effect pedals have some incredible technicians AND artists to shop from.  What a cool way to enjoy your craft of music.  I am really honored to have my stamps on this artform.  Terry and Jason have been great to work with, so if you play electronic guitar, or know someone who does, consider watching what these guys are doing, because it doesn't get more personal than this.

So what's next?  Well, keep your eyes open.  You could see more stamps on these pedals in the near future.  Oh, was that a teaser?  Yes, stay tuned to my facebook page to see what comes out next, I'm talking to a few other pedal producers too! 

Photos by: John Ballou, Terry T., and Jason Chong

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jackbear Makes History

Last week I had two really exciting stamp projects come to finality.

First I delivered an order of five hand hand carved stamps, ten buttons, and ten magnets (all adorned with a portrait of Susan B. Anthony) to the Susan B. Anthony House here in Rochester, NY.  The citizens of Rochester know the legends of Susan B. well.  Her work along with her sister suffragettes were pivotal in getting the vote for women in the US.  One of her homes is here in Rochester, along with her grave.  Many sites in Rochester honor her with her name.  Household name in Rochester?  Absolutely.

So when I was contacted by Joann at the Susan B. Anthony House gift shop, it took me all of 3 seconds to know I wanted to do something to help them promote the name of Susan B. Anthony.  We agreed to an initial order as listed above.  She said that others she knew had purchased my pins at other art shows I had done, and told her about my work.  Can't beat word of mouth!  So if you want one of these buttons/pins, magnets, or stamps, drop by the Susan B. Anthony gift shop at 19 Madison Street and help support the SBA mission.

The second historic order I got to do was for Jim with the Welkins Base Ball Club of Port Huron, MI.  Jim was looking for a way to mark some of the vintage baseballs for this team.  The Welkins play vintage base ball (yes two words) with other similar clubs in Michigan an Ohio.  They are in their seventh season in 2013, and play other teams like the Royal Oak Wahoos and the Midland Might River Hogs.

Jim sent me the "shield" they use on their uniforms, and I carved that for the ball logo.  The carving was straight forward but stamping on a sphere is not trivial.  Taking something that is flat and trying to roll it onto a ball is an exercise in patience.  From the pictures that Jim took, looks like he has the knack for it!  I did the stamp in the softer "pink stuff" carving material to allow for some more "squishiness" to take into account the leather and the curve of the material being stamped.

It is exciting to think these little logos might get cracked into the air.  I'm glad this stamp turned out to be a home run.  (Sorry, couldn't resist the horrible pun).

Susan B. photos by John Ballou
Baseball photos by James Fisher