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This weekend I’m excited to be part of SF’s annual Zine Fest! It’s an event I’ve participated in for many years, and I always have a great time, meet fantastic people, and hear some wonderful stories.

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Two exciting pieces of news: 1) I’ll be sharing a table with Maureen Forys of Happenstance Type-O-Rama (OMG, you have to see the “Herstory of Oakland” artistamp sheets she’s putting together…they’re AMAZING!) And 2) I’ll be debuting my new rubber stamp project called Red Handed Rubber Stamps.

RHRubber trims

For a RLD post-in-the-near-future, I’ll be writing in-depth about how Red Handed came into existence; I’ve been hard at work on this project for over a year! I know that many of you share my love for deep etched, red rubber, so of course you’ll understand that creating a line of rubber stamps seemed like a natural transition. At this moment in time, RHR is a wholesale only business. However, you can “get caught Red Handed” in the following places: The Ink Pad (NYC), Stampa Fe/Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps (Santa Fe), and Flax Art and Design (SF).

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But back to this weekend, and SF Zine Fest! For those who are interested, I will have rubber stamps for sale at my table. RHR designs not currently stocked by Flax will be available. This is a special “one weekend only” opportunity to purchase directly from the source! Supplies are limited, so be sure to stop by early. I’ll be vending under the moniker of Red Letter Day at table #137.

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I look forward to hearing what you think about the new rubber stamps and seeing what the mail art, rubber stamping, and paper crafting communities create using Red Handed Rubber. If you stamp up something using RHR stamps, send me a photo (or send to my mailbox!) I’ll be sure to post it on the Red Handed blog as a “Red Handed Gallery” post.

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That being said, I’ll sign off for now! I hope to see some of you this weekend at the Fest; if we don’t cross paths in person, I’ll see you in the mail!

–JH

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Summertime is always filled with the kinds of things I like: ice-cold beverages, a place in the shade for book-reading, and plenty of postal adventures with friends. This year, the unusually warm San Francisco days seem to stretch on forever; the fog is nowhere to be found.

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Last Friday I was fortunate enough to attend San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival  (a quintessential summertime “to do”) – courtesy of the USPS! The USPS was unveiling their new Janis Joplin stamp, which is part of the “Music Icons” series. To be hinest, I felt a bit like one of the kids in Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, once I found out that only fifty tickets were issued by the USPS. Lucky girl!

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So you guys know how it goes: I stayed up until 2 a.m. on Thursday night, putting together commemorative postcards to mail out to some of my postal pals…

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…and then the next morning (after fueling up on coffee) I headed over to Golden Gate Park. The Festival is spread out over a fair amount of GGP; since it was my first time attending, I didn’t realize that I’d be hoofing it into the middle of the Park, only to backtrack to Hellman Hollow – the scene of the ceremony. Whew – good thing I had all that coffee in my system!

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Once I arrived, everything seemed to fall into place: there was a beautiful display of Joplin stamps and a wooden table in the corner became my perfect out-of-the-way work desk. The “hard-core” philatelists had arrived early, armed with their own ink pads and agendas. Many of the stamp collectors I met had arrived from somewhere else – L.A., the east coast, the pacific northwest.

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I always worry a little bit when I attend first day ceremonies: will the postal employees let me cancel my own mail? Will my stack of -ahem- multiple postcards be too much of an imposition? Will I have enough time to get stamps on everything? My anxiety always amounts to energy wasted: the postal employees are gracious, interested, and (often) a-ok with me canceling my own mail.

 

I ran into SF philatelist (and XPF attendee!) Branton Burke and he let me capture some video of him in action…

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…and then it was time to get down to the music part of the ceremony! Once Megan Brannan of the USPS had officially debuted the Joplin stamp,  Janis’s brother Michael came onstage to say a few words. He was visibly caught up in the moment, stating that “the recognition of her legacy and persona on such a permanent and iconic symbol as a United States postage stamp is truly humbling”. Musicians Mary Bridget Davies (A Night With Janis Joplin), Kacey Musgraves, and Nicki Bluhm each performed incredible renditions of Joplin songs that got the crowd movin’ and groovin’.

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Postcards canceled, postage stamps purchased, ceremony witnessed: the rest of the afternoon was mine! And because I was at a summer music festival, of course I hung around to see the sights. Wandering through the mass of music lovers and festival goers, it became apparent how festivals of yore – the same festivals that Joplin had performed at – were an incredible experience for so many. For a few hours or a few days, a person can forget all worries, sit on the grass in the middle of Golden Gate Park, and listen to a favorite band – a classic summertime scenario remembered long after the season has changed.

–JH

If you are interested in obtaining a first day of issue postal cancel like the one pictured above, head on over to the USPS website. Scroll to the bottom of the article for detailed instructions.

 

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San Francisco is a haven for people who love the post. All manner of airmail stripes, decorated envelopes, and vintage postage can be found here. If you love paper, there’s something, somewhere in this city for you, whether it’s the Vintage Paper Expo (more info below), the SF Correspondence Co-op, the Little Maga/Zine Collection, or any of SF’s other hidden treasures.

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I’m always reminded that there’s something new to discover, which is exactly what happened recently when I stumbled across the SF Bay Area Postcard Club.

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With a mission of  “fostering and promoting postcard collecting in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and the world” this active group meets monthly to discuss a wide variety of postcard and ephemera related topics. Past newsletters (available for download via the club’s website) have focused on topics such as the Pan Pacific Expo (a.k.a. PPIE), collecting postcards of foreign countries, and ephemera of the “world’s first” airmail flight.

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If you are interested in knowing more about the club, they will be hosting a table at the Vintage Paper Expo on July 26th & 27th. (for more info, take a look at the RLD “Classes and Sightings” page…) Entry to the Expo is free; what better time to meet fellow postcard collectors 9while hunting for more paper, of course!)

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In all things postal –

–JH

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April and May were whirlwinds of activity at the RLD studio; I was working like a fiend putting together two new artist book editions for my June trip to NYC.

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I am thrilled to announce that these two new editions (Via Aerea and Instance/Instants) are now available exclusively through Central Booking NYC.

 

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“Instants/Instance” by Jennie Hinchcliff

Incorporating both perforations and pochoir, Instants/Instance is a reflection on change and memory, people and place. The book is an edition of 12; each volume is hand assembled, stenciled, and constructed by hand.

"Instants/Instance" by Jennie Hinchcliff (close up)

“Instants/Instance” by Jennie Hinchcliff (close up)

Located on the lower east side, Central Booking NYC represents a wide swath of the who’s-who in artists’ books. It is an honor to be on display alongside Doug Beube, Red Fox Press, Kumi Korf, and many admirable others.

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“Combinations” by Karen Kunc

On shelves and in bookcases, artists’ books wait for the curious to stop by…

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“Red Dwarfs and Super Giants” by Kathy Bruce

…to read, page thru, connect with.

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“Map: Brooklyn Bridge Park” by Aaron Beebe

One of my instant favorites was the work of Aaron Beebe, who creates fantastic mapscapes over the top of photos. His bio states that he was the director of the Coney Island Museum for ten years; each of his artworks combines evocative imagery and official looking text in order to create something that seems just out of memory’s reach.

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“Map: Brooklyn Bridge Park” by Aaron Beebe (close up)

I’ve been a long time fan of Doug Beube’s work…

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“Zipper Theory: Facing Shame Tomorrow” by Doug Beube

…as well as Art Hazelwood.

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“Tora Bora” by Art Hazelwood

One of the things that makes artists’ books so exciting is their accessibility. Everyone, whether young or old (and contrary to current lamentations that print is dead) is able to interact with a book. Many of the usual “I don’t really understand fine art” feelings are taken out of the equation for a reader of artists’ books, leaving room instead for exploration, wonder, and inspiration. There is something for everyone in between the covers of an artist book.

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Summer hours are currently in effect for Central Booking; it’s best to give a call and confirm that they’ll be open. Upcoming fall exhibitions include themes such as archaeology and forensic science — to say that I’m excited (and already hard at work) is an understatement!

–JH

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I’ve updated the “Classes & Sightings” page of the RLD blog and boy-oh-boy is this a full summer! There are a few spaces left in Tuesday (July 8th) night’s “Book Arts Basics: Longstitch” class, as well as the “Advanced Longstitch: Reworked and Refined” the following week. Whether you’re just starting out on your book arts adventure or a seasoned pro, longstitch binding is an easy to make book structure — perfect for journals and sketchbooks!

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The “Non Adhesive Accordion Book” is works well for edition work…

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…while “Introduction to Bookbinding”  (above) gives SFCB newcomers an overview of book arts basics. Students learn the ins-and-outs of 4-5 different book structures over the course of the evening.

FYI: SFCB will be closed on Friday, July 4th and open July 5th and 6th. You can click directly on individual class links for registration info.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

–JH

 

RLD bookshelves

It’s been a great summer so far, if you’re looking to beef up your bookshelves with items related to mail art. Two of my all time favorite postal correspondents have recently published beautiful gems, and I’m here to share them with you.

 

Mud Bath by Allan Bealy, published by Black Scat Books

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image: Black Scat Books

First up is Allan Bealy, a collage artist based in Brooklyn, NY. I first met Allan via the mails, when he sent an amazing sheet of artistamps my way: they were brightly colored, digitally printed, and practically leaping out of my PO box. From the get-go, I knew that Allan and I would get along splendidly, postally speaking.

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image: Allan Bealy (tumblr)

Mud Bath (published by Black Scat Books) perfectly captures the humor and “wow!” factor of seeing Allan’s work in person. Weighing in at just under 70 pages (68 to be exact) this is a lovely, full color addition to your bookshelf, especially if you are interested in contemporary collage artists.

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image: Allan Bealy (tumblr)

Allan’s artist statement for Kolaj magazine states that he is “most interested in discovering new ways to tell an old story, with humor, irony and a dash of anarchy!” Looking through the variety of work in Mud Bath his personal credo shines through, leaving this reader inspired and awed.

 

Philatelic Atrocities by Niko Courtelis, published by Kat Ran Press

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Niko Courtelis is atrocious and he does unmentionable things to postage stamps. With a rallying cry of “Forgive Me For What I’ve Done“, he takes vintage stamps — mainly heads and faces — and creates something entirely other. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing his work in person, you know what I mean.

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When Niko told me that Kat Ran Press would be publishing a selection of his work as part of their Essays in Philatelics series, I was incredibly excited, both for him and postal freaks everywhere! Kat Ran is a small press publisher with a focus of typography, philatelics, and graphic design. You can view their current titles here.

via Kat Ran Press website

via Kat Ran Press website

In a nutshell (and via Kat Ran Press): “Philatelic Atrocities contains seventeen full-color details and reproductions of Niko Courtelis’s stamp collages. A brief introduction by Courtelis explains why it’s OK to chop up stamps.” Perfection.

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It’s no secret: I’ve been a longtime fan of Niko’s work. His typewriter/typewritten artistamp sheets and collaged atrocities are sophisticated and inventive, incorporating both philatelic history and a keen sense of design. Atrocities is a volume that has become an important part of my artistamp library; additionally, it makes a great gift for postally passionate friends.

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And here’s a bonus for all of you RLD readers in Portland, Oregon: on July 10th, Reading Frenzy will host an opening reception for “Cut Here: Niko Courtelis, Eroyn Franklin, and Mark Searcy”. This collage and cut paper show will be on display at RF through the month of July;  now’s your chance to see Niko’s work in person! I bet if you ask nicely, he’ll sign a copy of Atrocities for you…

And with that, I’m back to my summer reading list! Be sure and let me (and your fellow RLD readers) know what you think of these two postal-ish publications; if you make it to the opening at Reading Frenzy, I’d love to hear about that too!

In all things postal, I remain –

–JH

 

 

 

Seen recently at a SF garage sale:

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And here’s the reveal:

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(included: 24 “letterhands” and 12 envelopes.)

Inspired? Get out there and write something!

–JH

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