About once a week someone posts a message on the AQ boards about this much sought-after, but sold-out, carving material. Produced only by our friend Webfoot, it is getting in extreme short supply after a required change in formula. Desperate carvers are resorting to bribes, trades and begging to get their hands on some of the stuff.
Poor Webfoot has been working diligently trying to get this creamy, wonderful carving material back into production. For those of us that have some, it's not at the crisis point quite yet. But for those with little to none, it is starting to have a ripple effect - the most obvious one is no more carving. What? No more carving?? That translates into no new traditionals being planted, folks not signing up for postals or LTC swaps, and more. For a carver like me, this is bordering on the tragic. I carve for relaxation, for hobby, for artistic release...
What in the world are we gonna do? Well, the options are few, in all honesty. We can resort to the next most popular carving material - the pink stuff. Officially called Speedy-Stamp, the pink material is more rubbery-squishy than our beloved PZ, which tends to have a more firm consistency (especially the orange, which can have a rather waxy feel). There are some that get incredible details from the pink stuff, to be sure. But for those of us that are die-hard PZ carvers, this is close to blasphemy. If this is going to be our only option, then a lot of us are going to have to re-learn our technique, I'm afraid.
The other options are less desirable than even the pink stuff. MasterCarve is a material that I used for a short period of time with limited success. It is even more squishy and rubbery than the pink stuff, and a lot thicker, requiring an awkward cross-cut that leaves you with two slabs. Further, the longevity of this material is questionable, depending on it's use. To put it simply, it falls apart. Not good.
Speedball's offer of Speedy-Cut is no option at all, for this material is not only soft, but crumbly. It is good only for limited stamping, at best. What a joke.
I suppose we could all go back to using erasers...
The only choice we have is to be patient. If you are a praying person, you may consider putting this on your prayer list. Send Webfoot good thoughts, vibes, or whatever...we need a miracle here! For me, I don't care what color it is, or what size the slabs end up being. I just want everyone to be able to have a cache of material in their carving supplies and feel free to carve to their heart's content. And, until our miracle materializes, we are all left with carving with those dreaded scraps, begging and borrowing from others and turning our face away from enticing swaps and sweet box locations.
It could be worse, I suppose...Webfoot could just say forget it and not be trying at all. I say, "Let's support her all we can!"