Following past issues made from porcelain, glass, meteorite, lederhosen-shaped leather and – most recently – toilet paper, Austria’s national postal service has issued another innovative stamp.
Made from the same plastic and aluminum used to produce skis, the stamp is a tribute to one of Austrians’ favourite activities – skiing. The seven-euro stamp is shaped liked the tip of a ski and depicts a mountain range and a skier alongside the denomination and the country name.
“The stamp was created in Vienna, and since the heat-sensitive plastic posed some unique challenges, they used special saws, turning 50,000 times a minute, to cut through the three-millimetre-thick material,” said collector Peter Lepold, of Kelowna, B.C., who shared the stamp with CSN. “The post office suggests to have the stamp hand cancelled.”
A ‘SKIING NATION’
As a skiing nation, Austria has a long tradition of enjoying the wintertime sport.
“It impresses with its unusual materials and its iconographic shape, so familiar to ski enthusiasts: the stamp looks like the tip of a ski, and the mountain panorama hinted at in the background combined with the skier makes it clear that that is precisely what is intended,” reads the Österreich Post website.
“The particularly special feature of this stamp is the material. In general, an actual ski is made from a combination of different materials such as wood, metal and plastics. For this stamp block, a similar production technique was used. A thin layer of aluminium-plastic composite was cut out to the shape of a ski tip using a CNC-controlled milling machine. The silvery surface of this aluminium composite was brushed, and when viewed from the side looks like the edges of a ski. Then a special acrylic glue was used to apply the yellow original ski coating, specially adapted in strength for the stamp. Just as it is in the production of actual skis, the image was printed as a mirror image on the back of the coating so that the design is seen on the surface through the ski coating.”