making stamps…

In a good Russian tradition, I made ‘official’ stamps for the NIVA TO NENETS project. More experimentation is needed to make better inkpads, but the stamps themselves seem to be perfect!

These are stamps made with the laser-cutter in FabLab Genk. The stamps are cut in grey linoleum and glued on a cutout of its outline in MDF to give it more stability. In a second hand shop I bought a round wooden doorknob for the small stamp. I am still searching for a second handle or knob for the big one. The first inkpad I tried to make was an experiment with tissue paper on a plastic bag and normal ink cartridges that I cut open. It didn’t work out perfectly, but using the small stamp it sometimes came close. For the bigger stamp, the pattern on the tissue paper was too visible. Another problem is that this kind of ink dries so quickly that you can’t keep the inkpad for later use. Again in a second hand shop I found a square tin that fits the big stamp: excellent for a more sustainable inkpad. I used textile paint (this dries much slower) and a piece of felt for this inkpad. I want to make more experiments, for example with specific inkpad-ink and with different kinds of paint, but with these first results I am already happy!


Calendar for Arctic Peoples Alert

A calendar of the year 2013 has been made for Arctic Peoples Alert, in which images of historical maps of the Nenets region are combined with pictures that I made in November 2012. The first page of this project explains the NIVA TO NENETS project in three languages: Dutch, English and Russian.

Arctic Peoples Alert is the Dutch non-governmental human rights organization standing up for the interest of indigenous Arctic peoples in the countries around the North Pole. Every year a calendar like this is send to donators… So help them helping them, and help yourself in the meantime with one of these nice calendars!

Just send an email to

May the wish come true…

On Sunday the 4th of November, I was guided by the Nenets group Ханибиë (Snow Owl in Nenets language) to a wish tree. The women of this performance group first welcomed me in their chum not far from Naryan Mar, where they shared nice food and some interesting anecdotes and songs. These women want their indigenous traditions to be known and appreciated; hence they promote and perform parts of their culture. After I told them about the NIVA TO NENETS project, one of the women cut a red ribbon from her traditional dress and gave it to me. I was surprised and a bit shocked, and pointed a bit pityfully to the empty spot on the beautiful dress. “Don’t worry, I will sew a new ribbon to it with your project in mind,” she assured me. While I firmly held the ribbon in my hands, we posed for a group photo. Then we all together walked through the snow, towards a Nenets wish tree. This tree was completely draped with ribbons, which made a colourful contrast with the surrounding leafless trees. We found a good branch where I could tie my ribbon on. I did this silently in deep concentration and with awareness of the moment itself. Of course I had the NIVA TO NENETS project in mind.