Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Highly recommended by Cascadia Artpost for the bookshelf of every mail art creator or anyone curious about artistamps and postal art is a new softcover book by San Francisco artists Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler, Good Mail Day (Quarry Books, 2009, $19.95 U.S.).

Filled with how-to pointers and abundantly illustrated, Good Mail Day brings together a lot of information in one place about mail art. The book's chapters cover topics such as:

  • Getting started with mail art

  • How to put together a traveling mail art kit

  • Drawing ideas and raw materials from the environment around us

  • How to make and illustrate envelopes

  • Working with paper

  • Postal experiments

  • Creating artistamps

  • Developing one's postal personality

  • Mail art projects and networking

As added inspiration, bound with the book in the back are some blank postcards and postal stickers.

For more information, see the website The artists also have a website for their Podpost at


The Fluxus movement - the word "Fluxus" means literally "to flow" - creates art directly from the world and invites the audience to participate directly in perception, cognition, and creation.

This second Fluxus commemoration by Cascadia Artpost was released on a "Fluxus Card" designed from an arithmetic flash card originally intended as a teaching tool for math lessons in grade school. The flash card was part of a set discovered in an antiques store in Edmonds, Washington in January 2009. The bendable figure shown on the artistamp is shown in an evening pose striding through some postcard trimmings on the Cascadia Artpost layout table.


Weather in the western portions of Cascadia (British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington) west of the Cascade mountain crest follows a distinctive annual pattern. Three-quarters of the precipitation falls in the six wettest months of the year, from the month of October through the month of March. Most of the time, proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the barrier of the Cascades shield Cascadia from frigid winter temperatures. Precipitation falls as rain in the lowlands and as snow above 3,000 feet elevation. Summers in Cascadia are very dry, matching the time when days are longest. Winters are exceptionally dark here much of the time as a consequence of heavy cloud cover and short daylight of the northern latitude, with briefing clearings marked by angular light. The tradoff of living in Cascadia is the very dry summer of long beautiful days.

An excellent illustrated survey explaining the weather of Cascadia is The Weather of the Pacific Northwest (University of Washington Press, 2008) by Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington and a frequent guest on local public radio station KUOW.

The break from summer is usually marked by an early storm, which can occur any time between early September and early October. This year, such a stormy period occurred on September 6-7. Cascadia Artpost tried to capture the essence of what we call the "Stormy Season" through a photo of stormy afternoon cumulus clouds boiling over Seattle, Washington.