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Fragments Of Life

Handmade Stamps From Taiwan

Words / 文心
Translation / Ian Tsang

說起印章,其實我並沒有很多的認識。對於印章的記憶停留在文具店裡看到那些簡單的圖案或短句,像是「加油」啊、星星圖案啊、心型圖案等,跟手作做不了任何聯想,就更不用說背後的手作工作者了。而最近看到了台灣小島匠所的印章,才讓我有了多一點的想法。小島匠所的主理人Eva所刻的印章線條簡單,主題大多圍繞植物或小動物,如花朵、魚兒、貓頭鷹及貓咪等,全都柔和而溫暖,而Eva在臉書專頁上分享的話跟她的印章同樣充滿陽光的氣息,清新、誠懇。她常常把突然冒出來的念頭記下,而我最被她對生活的感受觸動。

When it comes to stamps, I actually do not know much about them. My memory about stamps have not gone further than the time when I saw them in stationery stores, which feature simple patterns or phrases, such as “Hang in there!” In Chinese, or star or heart shapes. I have never associated it with handcrafting, much less the craftsmen behind them. It was only until recently, when I saw the stamps by Evakaku Studio in Taiwan that I gained a little bit more insights into them. Eva, who runs the studio, carves stamps with simple outlines, most of which featuring plants and small animals, such as flowers, fish, owls and cats, all gentle and heart-warming. Moreover, the passages that Eva share on the studio’s facebook page are as lively, fresh, and sincere as her stamps are. She often notes down ideas and thoughts that flash through her mind, and I am most touched by her feelings towards life.

沒有矯情,也沒有大道理,所說的都是真實生活中的領悟,在創作的過程中學習到的體會;正正是她真摯又充滿正能量的性格融入了她的作品,也感染了閱讀她日常的人。就像她最近期的「七天的手作工作黑白日誌」,透過連續七天的黑白照,把她作為一個手作工作者的七天日常純粹地記錄下來,好讓自己能檢視每天的作業。就算像我不是一個印章控,不多不少也會被她那充滿感謝的心態,變得更正面的看待生活,甚至更熱愛生活。畢竟,最重要的就是那些每天發生的、可能不甚特別的小事,因為生活就是細碎的片段東拼西湊組成的。套用Eva說的話,「那種不安於現狀不是不滿足不珍惜啊!就是因為珍惜和感謝一切,才覺得可以再調整、會有進步的空間。」如果Eva有一天開始寫文章,我想,我還是會想看的。

Everything she says comes from the understanding that she has gained in real life. It does not sound pretentious or forced, nor does it contain grand philosophies. It is none other than her sincere and optimistic character that has melted into her creations and influenced those who read about her daily life. A case in point is her recent “black-and-white seven-day handcraft journal”, which purely records her day-to-day activities as a handcrafter for a week through seven black-and-white photos uploaded on seven consecutive days. She did this for the purpose of looking back at her daily work. Even for people like me, who is not passionate about stamps, will somehow grow to see life in a more positive light, or even start to love our life, thanks to her immensely thankful attitude. After all, what is the most important lies in the little things that happen on a daily basis but are not particularly special. Because life is made up of little pieces being combined together. As Eva herself has said, “Being anxious about the present situation does not mean one is unsatisfied or does not know how to treasure things. Only by treasuring and feeling thankful for everything can one re-adjust, leaving room for improvement.” If Eva starts writing articles one day, I think I would like to read them.