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Jennie Hinchcliff has been an active part of international mail art circles and communities for over a decade, has curated San Francisco mail art shows, and produces the quarterly mail art zine Red Letter Day. She teaches book arts and bookbinding at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Carolee Gilligan Wheeler teaches popular classes on bookbinding at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
For a long time, I am aware that one general rule for getting good mail is to send your own. I used to write a lot of letters, and when the email technology came along, my letter-writing activity nearly died.
One day as I was browsing through a shelf of books, the title, "Good Mail Day", caught my eyes, and I immediately pull it out. I quickly skimmed through the pages, and I knew that I had to buy it right away. This book is not a 'coffee-table' book full of professionally done art work nor is it a how-to-create-fantastic-art-in-no-time-at-all book.
Instead, it contains a nice balance of tutorials, examples from mail art practitioners, historical backgrounds, mini-treatises on the correspondence art, advices & suggestions for finding penpals, and etiquette (i.e. how to be polite with postal workers). It also provides ideas and methods on how to think 'outside the box' and go beyond the confines of what constitutes a 'normal' (but boring) mail.
Since I am a real pack rat, I have boxes and boxes of saved junk mails which could serve as fodder for creating new mail art and envelopes using the ideas and template from this book. The authors presented various documentation methods (logging is one of them) for keeping track of what was received and sent to help keep the whole mail art project manageable if it gets too big or overwhelming. There is a lot of visual candy in the photographs - the examples from the senders were beautifully arranged and displayed on the wall & shelves, and they did give me ideas for creating my own future "mail art gallery" on the wallspace above my desk.
One chapter gave details on how to create a traveling kit ("portable toolbox") so that one can write/create on the spur of the moment anywhere and everywhere.Read more ›
When I discovered Carolee & Jennie on the net a few years ago, I was astounded that there were people like me that LOVED mail. People that get a thrill out of receiving a special stamp, an airmail sticker, an unusual envelope along with real handwritten letter. When I read that they were making this book, I didn't realize exactly how cool it would be. Looking at the mail, postcards, letters, envelopes, special mailing stickers in this book is like porn for those that love mail. I was able to point at various stickers and rubber stamping and say 'Oh I have that one' or 'I want that one'. It inspired me to sit down that day and make some envelopes for mailing to my friends and penpals (yes I am 37 and still collecting penpals) with all my hoarded rubberstamps and stickers. These women are like me in that when they come back from Japan it is with a suitcase full of Japanese mailing labels, tape, envelopes, and pens instead of kimonos and plastic sushi from Kapabashi Dori. I already know that I will be giving this as a gift to a couple friends. This book is really good and by that I mean REALLY GOOD. Now if only my friends would be inspired enough to send me mail like this so I could have a Good Mail Day too...
I got this book last week and cannot put it down. It is literally crammed with information, ideas and inspiration for creating your own mail art. The art of letter writing is back and more fun than ever, thanks to the authors who share their passion for the written word, for documenting life in a non-electronic way, and for wrapping everything up in an interesting envelope.
Everything about mail art is covered, from surface design to working with templates to making faux postage. There's even "The Ten Commandments of Mail Art"! The step-by-step projects are clear and understandable and it's all doable. When was the last time you sent somebody a letter? Probably too long ago. Get this book, haul out some supplies and get started!
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Innovative, bright ways to re-invent your junk mail and build relationships via the old-fashioned art of correspondence wait for you in this book. Gone are the days of the pony express, sadly. Yet we humans still loiter around the mailbox, rallying our hopes if the postal worker's bundle looks interesting. If I received any of the resourceful and occasionally stutter-inducing missives pictured in Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, I'd probably give Phillip a hug. I'm not sure he would like it, but there it is. Mail as an art outlet is definitely the kind of mail you want to receive.
Enter this book. Authors Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler cover almost everything you might wish to know about paper salvaging and minimal skill, down-and-dirty crafting, leading into hardcore artistry. Included are tips for careful mailing, postal regulations that might affect your creative boundaries, guides for building envelopes and keeping your delivery person happy, even some starter postcards and "mailing seals" (I call 'em stickers) in the back. Those newly pondering a stamp-based relationship can even find a pen pal and kick-start a friendship by post, all within the bounds of this book.
Good Mail Day offers a scrapbook-style design, brightly-lighted photographs, scads of information and backstory, and puffy clouds of space to let the ideas drift straight off the page and into your brain. In back, a gallery by name, but, really, it's a museum of shiny ideas that didn't quite make it into the how-to section. Don't be frightened if there are umpteen things you want to make immediately.
What's fantastic about the book is how simple the ingredients are for such complex, memorable mail.Read more ›
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