[Alyson Kuhn] I’m a big fan of washi tape. And I have recently come to appreciate how much artier some people I know — and people they know — are being with their washi. Behold these binder clips made by Pamela Gerard for a few of her lucky friends, including Gina Visione, who Gerard inspired to make washi-seamed envelopes.
Gina Visione (her mail-art handle) let me select this “test” envelope, which I adore all the more because the flap reminds me of a florist’s awning. I’ve gotten it semi-ready to send, but am not certain I can give it up just yet.
Visione and Gerard are both members of the Correspondence Co-op started in San Francisco by Jennie Hinchliff in 2011. Visione toted her incredible tape dispenser to a meeting, where it was greeted by a chorus of oohs and aahs. OMGina!
The ultimate filing system for Visione’s library of washi is made from scraps and repurposed materials from her father-out-law’s workshop, including used (and therefore dulled) hacksaw blades for tearing off the tape.
Visione made this card, bordered it with zebra-striped washi, and mailed it in an envelope made from the “matching” page in The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Dogs (2004), found in a free box at her neighborhood independent bookseller.
Visione made the Zooper card “in a fit of hilarity for my oldest and best friend. She has a yellow lab named Cooper, who is harder to see when he is on similarly-colored surfaces.” And how did her friend respond to the zebratized Cooper mailing? I quote: “She howled.”
Gerard, who earned her BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute, took all of the photos of her work shown here. She shares her visual impressions on her mail art blog, Cappuccino and Art Journal. (Last week’s post was an ode to typewriters, with one prop that made me Politely Gasp [hint]. Next up, she’ll be writing about some of her washi projects.)
Rachel Hazell — about whose bookmaking workshop in the Napa Valley we reported here and here — mailed me a roll of her read-make-love-books tape as a Valentine present. She is so dextrous, that she managed to inscribe the core: “February 14th 2012. Dear Alyson — Here’s some special tape to aid the securing of parcels. NB: It is very sticky + a limited edition.”
I wish to expand my washi-ness, and don’t mind being derivative. Above, you see my first envelope constructed with washi: ambitious onion skin. The notecard will fully fill the envelope and, I hope, optimize its safe transit. And below, you see my graph-grid washi on graph-grid wrap. And my favorite tapes that I own.
Any piece of mail from Tag Team Tompkins is a multi-splendored treat. My limited-edition valentine tag (below) featured spray painting over one of Diane’s paper cuts on the front and a greeting in Madeline’s distinctive calligraphy on the back. Diane says, “I decided to use the pin tape when I readied the valentines for sending, as a finishing touch.”
Graphic designer Shasta Garcia suspected — or maybe she intuited — that certain colors of washi tape would be see-through enough for letterpress printing underneath to be legible and touchy-touchy. She says, “I don’t remember the exact moment I thought of it, but I just knew I wanted a card that would be simple and could hint at what my blog is about in a tactile way.”
Garcia wrote a guest post for Felt & Wire about her craft projects using washi … and that inspired her to open a Felt & Wire shop: Shastablasta Wraps Presents Well. Since we are mad for plaid … we hope she’ll add more products. Last Christmas, Garcia made washi twist ties for closing some of her gifts. She credits Randi at Swoon Studio for the inspiration; Randi in turn acknowledges Jessica at Zakka Life with the idea and the how-to.
Lest you think artful taping is just the province of crafters and mailers: I was recently shopping in Anthropologie and noticed their tape for the first time. Just a tab’ll do ya — though I of course would have liked a long strip.
And Kate Spade New York commissioned an entire storeful of tape, in the form of an installation from artist Rebecca Ward. We’re just playin’: the tape of things to come!
Things We Love, a book we loved from Kate Spade New York, features an actual piece of tape in homage to Rebecca Ward’s tape installations.
Photos 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19: © 2012 StudioAlex
Gina Visione makes this offer: If you would like an envelope with your favorite dog (Sorry, Labrador Retriever, Pug, and Boston Terrier have been sent already), and/or you would like to share MailArt, please send an email to [email protected] with your request, name and postal address. She hopes to see you in the mail soon!