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.



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.


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.


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!)


In all things postal –









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.


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


07_text words

“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.

06_karen kunc

“Combinations” by Karen Kunc

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


“Red Dwarfs and Super Giants” by Kathy Bruce

…to read, page thru, connect with.

04_CB aaron beebe

“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.

05_aaron beebe close up

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

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

09_doug beube

“Zipper Theory: Facing Shame Tomorrow” by Doug Beube

…as well as Art Hazelwood.

08_art hazelwood

“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.






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!




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!

hinchcliff_non ad acc_02

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


…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!



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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

07_niko artistamp

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.


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 –





Seen recently at a SF garage sale:


And here’s the reveal:


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

Inspired? Get out there and write something!



The Pacific Center for the Book Arts (affectionately known as “PCBA”) is a San Francisco based membership organization for book artists, letterpress printers, and folks who have a great love of all things book arts related. Every three years, PCBA hosts the Bookworks exhibition in the Skylight Gallery at the SF Public Library.

02_fragments box

This season’s Bookworks exhibit features the work of over one hundred book artists, calligraphers, letterpress printers, and fine binders. I’m excited to say that my artist book Fragments (completed last year) will be on display!

03_fragments cover

Told over the course of six months, Fragments addresses the nature of hunting/gathering (i.e. collecting) from the point of view of an avid gleaner. The book incorporates glassine envelopes, ledger paper, and bits of vintage ephemera.

04_fragments page

It is a topic I constantly think about: why certain things are kept and saved as treasures, while other items are discarded and forgotten. What makes a memento meaningful? How does a certain item become “collected”, cherished?

05_fragments close up

The text for each page is typed on onionskin vellum, using my Smith-Corona Zephyr (circa 1938). Hand stamping is applied to some of the pages as well. The glassine envelope pages are affixed to a concertina spine, which is attached to the front and back covers. The book is housed in a kraft brown box, which is lined with ledger paper.

06_fragments final page

The opening reception for Bookworks 2014 takes place on Saturday, June 21st from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The reception is free and open to the public. The exhibition runs thru September 6th, 2014 at the Main Library. For more information and info about additional programming, be sure to take a look at both the PCBA and SFPL websites.


envelope and artwork by Carl Chew...

envelope and artwork by Carl Chew…

The Italian Cultural Institute is currently hosting the exhibition “Guglielmo Achille Cavellini : 1914 – 2014″ in San Francisco.

I stopped by last week to take a look.

title: "stamp homage to picasso"

title: “stamp homage to picasso”

title: "heirloom (text on felt)"

title: “heirloom (text on felt)”

From the art-agenda website: “In 1971, Cavellini coined the term auto-storicizzazione (self-historicization) after he designed sixteen different museum posters each featuring the years “1914–2014″ and the date of a solo exhibition celebrating the centennial anniversary of his birth.”


Also: “On view are 14 pieces among which are two pivotal series “Crates with Destroyed Works” (1966–1970) and “From the Page of the Encyclopedia” (1973). “Crates with Destroyed Works” is a collection of works Cavellini made by destroying the pieces he was creating and subsequently encasing them into crates. These works originated from an internal and emotional source, revealing an attitude brought about by a deep and obsessive self-search.”

title: "int'l postage 33" (close up)

title: “int’l postage 33″ (close up)

And: ” “From the Page of the Encyclopedia” is a series of works originating from a theoretical and linguistic code Cavellini invented as a direct consequence of self-historicization. Starting from actual biography, Cavellini expanded his own life story to temporal hyperbolic appropriations. Fabric, objects, clothing and living bodies would become a direct canvas for Cavellini to “paint” his story.”

GAC artistamp...

GAC artistamp…

The works of Cavellini will be on display until June 8th; a comprehensive, 70 page catalog of the exhibition (published by Colpa Press) is available at the gallery. For more information visit the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.


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