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Carving done by Tim Mancusi

Three carvings done by Mick Mather

The 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 stamps. 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.