Mail Art Project: Altered Altoid Tin; Shrine or Reliquary Cards
Although I consider this Altered Altoid Tin Project a Mail Art project, this particular project is being exchanged by hand rather than through the mail. This project involves about a dozen local artists in Hawaii. It is typical of projects that could easily be carried out through the mail.
Each artist will make a dozen Shrine or Reliquary cards of their own work to swap. The hostess will receive twelve pieces from each artist and then swap them back out to participating artists. When cards are swapped back out, each artist will receive one card from each of the other participants. Part or all of each card is hand drawn, painted or otherwise created and embellished with attachments.
In this particular swap the hostess is contributing the Altoid tins as well as a card to each artist. The cards have been created to a size that will fit into the tin. When the artist receives the mixed set of cards and their Altoid tin, it is then up to each artist to alter, embellish or decorate the tin as they wish for their set of cards.
The theme for this swap was designated as a "Shrine or Reliquary". The subject of the Shrine or Reliquary was left up to the individual artist. Other than size most every thing else about creating the cards was left up to each artist as well. The visuals in this article are my cards for this swap.
Nine of Fifteen Be Peace Shrine Cards
All of my cards were made individually with Lanaquarelle 140 lb. hot press watercolor and Bristol papers, permanent water-soluble ink, watercolor, and ribbon or silk ribbon. Punches were used to facilitate weaving paper and attaching ribbons. Because thickness was a consideration for the finished set of cards, which is intended to fit into the Altoid tin, I did not attach anything thicker than ribbon or paper. The dimensions of these cards are two by three and one eighth inches. I often sign and number work of this nature on the front and back, in this set I signed only on the back because of limited space.
Three Of Fifteen Be Peace Shrine Cards
Front, Back and "Beneath" The Ribbons
In general when I work on a project like this I set out to make a few more pieces than required. The intent is to end up with a few extra in case I run into a problem with a piece or there is a participant joining the project late. This way I am also able to keep one or two pieces for myself as samples of my work. I have found that initially intending to make a few extra pieces has worked out well for me as I now have a representative collection of my own Mail Art pieces.
Questions or comments are welcome. If you would like more information about my process, materials or projects similar to this, please let me know.