Mail Art From Lynne Gurnee

I received this oversize piece of mail art from Lynne Gurnee this past Monday. The artwork is from an original linocut piece called “She Was a Big Rat.”  Lynne has sent me several great pieces this year.

Lots of artists make mail art from their scraps and bit of things that didn’t quite work out as planned. I’m not sure that’s what happened here, but it’s often what I do.

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.