By MAGGIE SCHUETTE-VOSS
The card Joyce Quast holds is painted with a rose, reminiscent of Victorian style.
It looks as if it came from a commercial printer, but it was made with rubber stamps and ink, the kind Joyce and Doug Quast sell at Stamps, Etc.
The Quasts have gone into a type of partnership with Art and Ann Mallak.
Stamps, Etc. is in the same building as Mallak's Unique Arts and Crafts in downtown Winsted.
The finished products that result from the Quasts' stamps are a far cry from a simple stamp on paper. Stamping has evolved into an art form and is being used on clothing, greeting cards, gift paper, candles and greeting cards.
"I belong to a stamp club in Norwood that meets once a month," Joyce said. "Some of the designs we do are really complex, like the church window card, and some techniques can create the look of leather," she said.
Joyce started stamping three years ago after a friend introduced her to the craft. "It's a great stress reliever," she said.
Stamping has become a family activity with Joyce, Doug, and her daughter, Robin, making Robin's wedding invitations. (After a previous large stamping project, Joyce's son has bailed out of the wedding invitations.)
Stamping, she said, also brings other families together.
"I know one lady who stamps with her 16-year-old daughter. She said that is the only time her daughter will sit and talk with her," Joyce said.
Stamping, she said, is not necessarily a feminine activity.
"I have a 14-year-old boy who comes in and buys stamps."
The cost of stamping, Joyce said, is very reasonable and the equipment can be purchased gradually.
Besides the stamps and equipment, Joyce is offering classes on both basic and advanced techniques.