Postal Updates

By Michael Baadke

New U.S. postal card July 31

June 04, 2015 09:00 AM

A new nondenominated United States forever postal card will be issued July 31 at the 66th National Topical Stamp Show in Portland, Ore.

The postal card's stamp design, which shows a large flower blossom and a small bee, was revealed during a June 3 teleconference hosted by the U.S. Postal Service's acting manager of stamp services, Mary-Anne Penner. The Postal Service is identifying the design as "Fanciful Flowers."

The image was created by illustrator Cathie Bleck, and designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler.

It is the fourth postal card illustration by Bleck in what she has referred to as a series of Nature stamps. The first, in 2007, was the 26¢ Pineapple postal card (Scott UX488).

The Deer forever postal card followed in 2013 (Scott UX644), and the Tree forever postal card was issued in 2014 (UX645).

The new Flower Blossom postal card will sell for 39¢ and fulfill the 35¢ postcard postage rate that went into effect May 31.

The images are created in a process that Penner described as "similar to woodblock."

In its biography of Bleck, the Postal Service provides additional details: "From her studio in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Bleck creates designs with razor-sharp tools, carving delicate, fluid lines on ink-coated scratchboard that has a clay surface. She uses this richly textured scratchboard technique to depict various story tales that frequently involve nature and seem to imply a range of human experiences and emotions."

The flora and fauna topical elements in the new postal card will be of interest to the topical collectors who will attend the Oregon show, which is sponsored by the American Topical Association and runs July 31-Aug. 2.