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greetings-from-sf

 

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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an average day around the studio...

an average day around the studio...

For the last few months, I keep having a recurring dream; there’s something which settles in the the back of my brain, and comes to light when I find myself daydreaming. “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a place in SF where I could browse artisan zines, sift through vintage pencils, peruse an interesting collection of secondhand books, and mull over fancy paper? Wouldn’t that be great?! Wouldn’t it?”

After being jolted back to reality, I’m left to wonder why such a spot doesn’t quite exist in this city, when I can find nearly everything else of paper obsessed girl would need.

And yet: two weeks ago, I was informed that my dream had come true. “You should really check out this cool new place,” a mail art friend of mine said. “They’re pretty new, but I think they’re right up your alley. Plus, they’re hosting a party for Esophus magazine — you know, that new Ray Johnson issue.

Press:Works on Paper, with the work of Toby Millman hanging in the window...

Press:Works on Paper, with the work of Toby Millman hanging in the window...

And so I found myself in front of Press: Works on Paper, harboring a sense of deja vu that so often happens here in SF. I realized this was the store I’d been daydreaming about.

would you like a beautiful notebook, or some sort of fancy pencil to write with?...

would you like a beautiful notebook, or some sort of fancy pencil to write with? Owner Nick Sarno will be happy to advise...

Press: Works on Paper is the brainchild of Nick Sarno and Paulina Nassar. In their own words: “We love paper and books, with an emphasis on works published by small presses, as well as vintage books/out of print/hard to find titles…our focus is design, beauty, use and uselessness. we can’t hope to save an art form that is quickly becoming irrelevant — rather, we hope to celebrate its irrelevance and the creative freedom it brings.”

These are my people.

or maybe you're looking for a copy of Dineson's "Seven Gothic Tales"?

or maybe you're looking for a copy of Dineson's "Seven Gothic Tales"?

The minute I step inside, it feels as if I’ve entered a good friend’s studio space: the shelves are chock full of vintage office supplies and bookbinding tools! A smattering of artists’ books and small press titles fill tables in the center of the room; classic (yet thoroughly modern) Japanese decorative papers and a wide range of secondhand art/design books fill out the rest of the store.

one of my favorite corners in the store...

one of my favorite corners in the store...

Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift for a hard-to-buy-for friend? Or maybe (’tis the season) a cool, “this isn’t your usual wedding gift” wedding gift? Press:Works on Paper has something for every occasion, and guess what? You can shop via their blog as well.

books are for sale, and displayed upright with covers facing out...

books are for sale, and displayed upright with covers facing out...

Some of my favorite items on offer at this very moment:
a deck of national flag playing cards (two of my obsessions — playing cards AND flags — put together to form one completely awesome item!)
a turquiose blue “Sterling” model Smith Corona typewriter (portable — comes with the original case! Take it home today, start typing letters by tonight…)
–a reprint of “7 Concrete Poems” (originally by d.a.levy, reprinted by Jon Beacham/The Brother In Elysium Press; I purchased two copies, I love it that much.)

(things I won’t mention: the old school tape dispensers, a bookmark shaped like a giant paperclip, or the hand-crank paper shredder from Japan; you’ll have to find those on their blog…)

a new addition to my library; I couldn't resist...

a new addition to my library; I couldn't resist...

Press:Works on Paper will be offering a range of bookbinding classes by the end of summer (if not sooner) — a welcome addition to the store, and a perfect fit. Of San Francisco’s love of all things paper-ish, Paulina says: “This is a place where everyone has to have the latest digital device … but people also want to make their own books and paper, to put a personal stamp on their lives. We see this as a natural response to the changing world and especially to the role of print communication.” (via Tom Biederbeck, Felt and Wire)

look at that Japanese paper! a different selection from Kinokuniya in Japantown...

look at that Japanese paper! a different selection from Kinokuniya in Japantown...

Recently reviewed by Daily Candy, Press: Works on Paper joins the ranks of local faves like Rare Device and Bell’occhio — a store filled with fantastically curated items, all top-notch and beautiful. If you’re anything like me, your first visit to “pick up a gift for someone else” will turn into a nonstop shopping trip of personal gratification! And really, why should you deny yourself? A store filled with this much awesome is impossible to resist.

Have fun and let me know what you think! 🙂

–JH

Press: Works on Paper is located in what I like to call the “pocket” between Noe Valley and Valencia Street: 3492 22nd St at Dolores St.
You can visit their website at: pressworksonpaper.com

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Hello beautiful postal people!
fireworks on the water

fireworks on the water

The July 4th holiday has come and gone, and what do I have to show for it? A pile of completed work! I’ve been busy over here at the RLD HQ; it seems like the months of July and August are hustling and bustling by. There’s always alot of talk at this time of year about things like vacation and taking it easy; somehow or other, I managed to be out of the room when that conversation was taking place.
junk mail_01

junk mail_01

So what’s been up? Well, I’ve been hard at work on a project entitled “So Many Products, So Little Time: The Junk Mail Show”, which is opening in San Francisco this week (scroll down to the bottom for show info). The theme of the show is — wait for it! — junk mail. How brilliant is that?! Curators Sarah Smith and Andy Vogt are definitely My Kind Of People.
the adventure begins!

the adventure begins!

Tell me if this sounds familiar: every teeny tiny scrap of paper at your house gets saved, especially if it has some sort of unusal texture or printed design. You just can’t bear to part with a single piece of ephemera: coffee filters (unused. you gotta draw the line somewhere), candy wrappers, birthday cards, cake mix boxes…it’s all just raw material to create mail art. I understand completely, because your plight is my plight. In this age of shredding all incoming credit card offers and auto insurance fliers, I spend alot of time separating the wheat (security envelopes with cool inside lining patterns) from the chaff (all that other crap that comes inside the envelope), and have acquired quite a collection. So when I was invited to join in on the junk mail fun, gathering together my tools of action was not really a problem.
look at these beauties!

look at these beauties!

Once I had created my envelope-covered 5×7 panels, it was time to begin gocco printing! Armed with photocopies of 1920’s and 30’s junk mail slogans (“Growing!”, “My Secret”, and “SENSATIONAL!” to name just a few) as well as a fistful of screens, I began to print. Flourescent ink over the top of those security tints is pretty exciting, dont’cha think?
whee! good things are happening!

whee! good things are happening!

Gotta let the gocco ink dry, but that’s o.k. I’ll make some fauxstage to attach to each panel. I think it should tie in with the theme of the show…
your junk is my treasure...

your junk is my treasure...

Laid out on the table, the riot of color and texture on all 16 panels is a sight to behold. Looking at the panels as a group made me realize how much junk mail comes from specific types of companies, primarily credit card and insurance dealers of some kind. It was also liberating to realize I’ll never have a shortage of junk mail/security envelopes, and that,  by extension, I’ll never have a lack in the “materials” department (as far as a project like this is concerned). I have a feeling that this group of 16 is the first of many such prints/panels…
in the home stretch of "done!"

in the home stretch of "done!"

If you’re in the bay area and interested in coming to see the show, here’s the info. Each of the panels that you see in the above photos is for sale; additional mail art will be created specifically for each purchaser on the back of sold panels. Once the show comes down, panels will be mailed to purchasers, thereby creating mail art out of junk mail! If you are unable to make it to the show or opening but want to see more, let me know — I’m sure we can work out a solution!
And it might interest you to know: the SF Weekly had a bundle of nice things to say in today’s (July 7th) edition of the paper. All that being said (written?),  I hope to see all of YOU, my postal loving, junk mail hoarding friends, on Friday night!
In all things postal, I remain —
–JH

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