Two Mail Art Boxes I Made

One thing I do besides read books is create mail art. Mail art is just what it sounds like, art created to be sent through the mail. I’ve been making mail art for quite a while now, possibly over ten years now, I don’t keep track.

I made these two pieces inside a couple of jewelry boxes I picked up at SCRAP in San Francisco. SCRAP is a store that sells all sorts of dumpster diversion stuff, empty boxes, old convention signs, half used packets of copy paper. You never know what you’ll find when you visit. It great for artists but it’s really a store for odd-ball creative teachers like me. The San Francisco Unified School District owns the warehouse where you’ll find SCRAP.

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I don’t really start making mail art with much of a plan in mind. For these boxes, I had the boxes, the marbled paper that I made a few months ago, a package of unpainted passengers for an HO train, and a program from a silent film festival C.J. and I attended a while ago. I’ve been tearing up this old paperback copy of Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge so I decided to use it as well.

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Add an old matchbook and some scrap paper to this one. I decorated the lids with some old stamps and tied them up with book binder’s thread.  I’m putting the both in the mail tomorrow. I used a blue box because I’m pretty sure an actual postal worker would refuse them since they are not quite regulation mail. Part of the fun for me is seeing just what I can get the post office to deliver. I’m sending one to France which may cause an international incident. Keeping my fingers crossed.


5 thoughts on “Two Mail Art Boxes I Made

    1. The go to all sorts of people involved in mail art. I use the International Union Of Mail Artists website to find destinations. And I send some to people I know in real life.

  1. Fascinating! I’ve never heard of Mail Artists projects. Are the boxes intended purely as works of art? usable artefacts? Our South African postal service is so ghastly that I doubt whether I’d have any success in joining such a project. My Mail Art boxes probably wouldn’t arrive at destination. Recently I mailed a letter to my friend in Australia, correctly addressed and stamped, and guess what? 6 days later there it was in MY postbox, as a piece of incoming mail ….. sigh. So I complained, and the letter went forth for the second time. If it reaches Oz it’ll be a miracle!!

    1. They are works of art, or at least attempts at works of art. I’ve never sent anything to South Africa, though I have had mail make it to New Zealand in the past. We are lucky in the U.S. to have an excellent postal system. Americans love to complain about it but we can still get a letter across the country in just a few days for far less than a dollar.

      1. I should be so lucky! I belong to Postcrossing, an international postcard exchange, and sometimes my cards to destinations in Russia and China take over 60 days to limp in. If they arrive at all … sigh.

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