Carving done by Tim Mancusi
Three carvings done by Mick Mather
Eraser Carvings of Mick Mather
Printmaker, Editor & Publisher
of Eraser Carvers Quarterly (no longer produced)
By Mick Mather
I was born on the happy day of March 22, 1948. I grew up, and still reside, in Central New York. My
mother read to me often as a child and I can recall sitting at her side imagining the most marvelous
pictures to accompany the story-of-the-day or the book-of-the-week. Drawing those visions filled
notebook after notebook and I can't recall a time when I wasn't daydreaming about the concepts and images
that reading evoked for me while furiously committing them to paper with pencils, crayons, watercolor paints
and anything else that would make a mark on paper.
When I turned 10 years old my parents gave me their old Philco radio. Radios had tubes in those days, and
this model took almost 15 minutes to warm up before any sound came out. The first day of sole ownership
was spent on the floor of my room, spinning the dial, twiddling the volume up and then
down . . . waiting for sound. Finally, the crackling and popping of static
could be heard along with the whistles and hums as I twisted the tuning dial. Then, all of a sudden, there
it was! Chuck Berry! I had an epiphany...suddenly, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life!
I actually did spend the next 25 years as a working musician, but my visual artwork was always there. I
designed posters, logos, collaged, drew cartoons,
designed ads and painted, painted, painted! Then, in the late 1970's I discovered mailart and rubber
It had been an interesting ride so far and I considered myself fairly hip, but this? It really
expanded the visual territory for me.
I began working in multiples, all hand-drawn, when suddenly it hit me! Rubber
stamps . . . turn your drawings
into rubber stamps. Hmmm, darned expensive that! So I searched for my old linoleum cutting tools, bought a
few carving blocks at the art supply store and began to cut my own images in linoleum.
Once headed down that road it wasn't long before I discovered Lowry
Thompson's "Rubberstampmadness" and an article on carving erasers. Make rubber stamps from erasers?
Duh!. The rest, as they say, is "history," and, I
suppose that my good friend, Tim Mancusi, may have written the most concise biography a guy like me could
ever hope to have:
"...Mick Mather is obviously the leading proponent of hand-carved rubber stamps in America today. He has
promoted countless carvers with his publication,
ERASER CARVERS QUARTERLY. An excellent carver himself, he is always looking for new and experimental ways of
creating images in relief..." - Tim Mancusi
I began publishing this arts digest for rubber stampers called "Eraser Carvers Quarterly" in February
1990. At that time I had already moved well away from
the small rubber stamp images that I had been creating throughout the 1980's. Now I was pursuing larger
compositions and a more traditional approach to proper printmaking.
In addition to being a writer, an editor, a
publisher and a printmaker, I am the Executive Director of the Craft Alliance of New York State, Inc.
(a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides
programs and services to professional craft artists in New York State). I'm also President of the Board of Directors of
Syracuse Allied Arts, Inc. This service organization sponsors art exhibitions, shows and sales to promote
the art of individual members of over a half dozen
Central New York art guilds.
In addition, I give numerous workshops,
demonstrations, lectures and slide presentations each year. Most of that work is to spread knowledge
relating to the art of hand-pulled, block relief
printmaking. That, of course, includes rubber stamping.