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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

three-muses-challenge: zetti

caution, this is a longish post
(if you only want to see zetti-artwork from me, please scroll down...)

this is an obituary for the rubber stamp company zettiology (short: zetti), which closed down last week and had been run by teesha and tracy moore since 1991. an era of style setting rubber stamps comes to an end. 
(i really regret that, but teesha and tracy always went on without standstills, so i can understand them... and i´m happy i own a shoebox full of their stamps, as i never hesitated to buy lots of their images;))

for me, the journey began in the year 1996, june... i came across my first rubber stamps and soon detected zettiology on my hunt for non-cute (oh well, it were the times before internet, nobody can imagine that any longer, so no quick emails etc). 
their style was different from everything else on the market and i had to make my first order immediately...
... the complete set, of course...

i was infected and it turned out to be incurable.

the company was smaller then, their catalogs handbound:

see the low postage fees back then...

i saved all my zetti-post, as there were so many treasures among it...
e.g. they brought out a supplement of their catalog in form of cards:

many images went with the idea of zetti being an ancient, perished imperium, mysterious and out of this world, reminiscent to the ancient egypt in some artifacts etc... tracy did not get tired of playing with these thoughts and designed a passport for the followers of this idea - and even a game which he sent out in laminated form. 

it was always such a pleasure to get their vibrant post, often with added gifts of postal stamps, magnets etc made with stamps from their rubber line.

they created many postal sheets (some in limited edition),
and i can say they influenced my art preferences (mail art) in a similar way nick bantock did.

in the next photo you can see how they incorporated their images into hotel labels...

teesha always shared her ideas generously, created collage sheets (still available on, was one of the first i know in art journaling. she run zines ("the studio" & "play") for a few years, but always was (and is) on the lookout for something new. she never complained about somebody "stealing her ideas" or copying her (on the contrary, she encouraged people to do so), because she had the self consciousness she was the first and the best and will always win the recognition she deserves. she was always a step ahead. and i wish her and tracy all the best for their future ideas!

getting the zetti catalogs was a pleasure as long as it lasted (means: until the images went online),
i still love the drawings of tracy on the covers:

as years went by, the name of their company became a synonym for a certain style of art:
zetti meanwhile means something odd, quirky, whimsical.. often colorful, with a touch of striped black&white...
and of course: you don´t need to own one single stamp of the company to make art in "zetti style"!!
now let me show you some creations i made with zetti images (or in their style). 
they are not new, but i wanted to give you some samples:

 a fabric leporello, zetti style (created 2007):

if you´d like to see more, just click on my zetti-label.


  1. What a gorgeous zetti-art collection!
    Lots to see, and I will come back many times. Thanks, Johanna.

  2. Du bist eine wahre Zettiologin - ohne Zweifel---
    was für geniale Dinge es hier zu bestaunen gibt!
    Ein toller Abschied für Zettiology!


  3. Wow, hier gibt es viel zu bestaunen!

  4. Wonderful post, wonderful zetti work and the end of and era. historic, and what a wonderful collection you have!

  5. Was great to read all about the era of Zetti Johanna your collection is amazing and I'm sure you treasure it all

  6. Johanna, my dear, THANK YOU for the history of zetti. You discovered Tracy and Teesha long before I did. I certainly agree about her generous nature, never complaining if someone copied her style (as some others do), in fact encouraging it. I am sure their new endeavor will be a success, and they have more, so much more to share.

  7. Wow-wow-wow... da war ja ein langer und schön zu lesender Beitrag. Klasse wie du die ganzen Jahre über die Dinge gesammelt hast.

  8. I was very sad when I received Teesha's email about the end of their zetti stamps, too. I have many of them, but certainly not all I wish I had. I do have a couple of catalogs, though, and now I realize I should make copies of the pages so I can use the images to make collages with. Long live zetti!

  9. What a terrific post and what amazing images these art! Your card is pure zetti-magic, Johanna!!

  10. What a great, long, and faithful love you've had for this kind of art and its first artists!
    You've been a precursor!! :)
    All these art pieces are awesome!!
    Out of time indeed!
    And all these treasures are priceless, aren't they?
    Thank you, Johanna, for sharing this fantastic part of yourself, and taking the time for all these explanations! :)

  11. Welch eine großartige Hommage an die wunderbaren Zettis und ihre kreativen Macher!
    So spannend für mich zu sehen und zu lesen, denn ich bin erst etwas später zum Stempeln gekommen und besitze leider viel zu wenige Zettis.
    Ich wusste auch gar nichts von den Briefmarken...
    Du bist zu beneiden um diese vielen Schätze - und was du daraus machst ist absolut zettilike!
    Liebe Grüße von Ulrike

  12. WOW what a fabulous and interesting read Johanna!
    You and your Zetti he♥rt are an original too...
    Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

  13. That was fabulous! Love to know your journey with zettiology, to see all those images and your zetti pieces.

  14. That was fabulous! Love to know your journey with zettiology, to see all those images and your zetti pieces.

  15. Wow you've been hiding your zetti light under a bushel, Miss Johanna. An absolutely plethora of wondrous pieces to feast my eyes upon. A standing ovation from over here in Yorkshire.

  16. Pity what happened to them but so art is. It generously disappears to give birth to new ideas. I am sure they will be successful. Love your post.


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