The Portland Stamp Company The Portland Stamp Company

Stamp No. 021Sarah Horowitz

Sarah Horowitz is an artist and printmaker living at the base of the eastern Cascade Mountains in Leavenworth, Washington. Her artist books are in public and private collections throughout the world, including the Library of Congress, Portland Art Museum, and 
Yale University’s Bienecke Library. She’s been drawing and making art her entire life, finely attuned to the world around her.


Have you designed a stamp before?

I have never designed a stamp, but after having designed and created several artist’s books, the stamp felt like a succinct mini series.


What was the most interesting or fun aspect of designing a poster stamp? What unique challenges did it present?

I think that the most fun parts were also the most challenging. The limitations of size and lack of additional pages or presentation space for text was difficult. I wanted to come up with something that both tied into the work I am making and into something that matters in our world today. It was hard to choose what direction to take since I kept coming up with more ideas – all disparate and exciting.


Tell us about the art. Did you create something new for this stamp?

Much of my work links to a sense of place through botanical subject matter and I am deeply concerned about our growing climate crisis. Shifts in temperature and rainfall are already affecting habitats and growth area for native plants. A previous project of mine focused on native plants, so I got to know the character of my new home through the native flora (I’ve now lived in Leavenworth, Washington for five years). I chose to highlight some of the most spectacular native species for this project, but I made my final choices based on design. I wanted flowers that I could draw in a circular-ish format to fit within the square space of the perforations and the text, so not vertical representations of flowers as they are frequently depicted.


Anything else? 

While not related to any of my previous work, it recently occurred to me to do a series of drawings of faces of some of the kids held in detention at the border. It would make an excellent stamp project and maybe the visibility would cause more people to respond to the devastating actions of our government.


Your idea about the portraits is great. If you want to do portraits as a benefit project, we’d be very happy to help produce them. What’s happening is deeply troubling.

I like the benefit idea. Would love to make the portrait idea happen.


Note: we continued actively working with Sarah on her idea. What materialized about eight months later was a benefit stamp for Families Belong Together entitled “Close the Camps.”

Sarah said: I continued investigating but never found a great way to do the stamp with portraits of kids that wouldn’t end up going sideways. I made this drawing with the same idea but using my own background so not taking someone else’s story. It still is aimed at the incarceration of immigrants, especially kids.

< Box Set 

The Artist Series

An ongoing collaboration with invited designers, artists, and writers who create original work for an unusual form: the poster stamp. The stamps are printed on lickable, gummed paper and pinhole perforated by hand on our vintage machines. The sheets are signed and numbered by the artist, and released in editions of 100. Suitable for framing. View full series.

Upcoming releases include Ka’ila Farrell Smith, Bwana Spoons, and Lesley Barnes.