An exciting new progression in the #Letter365 project

Polly Gifford tests the new #Letter365 box
Polly Gifford tests the new #Letter365 box

The new #Letter365 box has arrived! Polly Gifford, Director of Bridport Arts Centre, emailed me yesterday to tell me she had taken delivery of the new perspex container for my #Letter365 pieces to be collected and displayed. The box is going to be installed tomorrow in the foyer of the Arts Centre next to the box office along with information about the project as it progresses. Hopefully it will become and remain a talking point and help to create interest and momentum.  So thanks Polly and sorry that the team will have to walk a little further to store each letter!

I started on today’s piece quite early this morning as I was going to be out all day. I am glad I did because I was out longer than expected and got a bit hijacked by other events. My car is a bit poorly and I thought it best not to drive to Dorchester today, so it took a bit of extra time out of the day, especially as it was quite late on the way back. What with everything else (including a nice Curry at the Taj Mahal) it was gone 9pm before I got to the studio again. Fortunately I was pretty happy with it and just needed to make a few adjustments before packaging it up and posting it (in the drizzle)

#Letter365 No55 gets posted
No55 goes in the box in light rain

No54 gets posted with no fuss

#Letter365 No54 gets posted
No54 with another stamp of bling goes in the box

Sometimes there just isn’t anything to report. I did the piece; signed and date-stamped it; photographed it; made the envelope text and printed it; stuck a stamp on the envelope; put the piece in the envelope and sealed it; put a sealing wax seal on the back of the envelope; date-stamped the envelope; photographed the envelope; walked to the post box and took pictures of the envelope in front of the post box; pushed the envelope and its contents into the post box ; walked home; downloaded the images to my PC; and wrote this.

It’s what I do without much variation every single day. That’s all ok and I usually enjoy doing most parts of it, but there is a limit to what I can write about. It’s part of my job at the moment that’s all.

Not supposed to be giving clues…

#Letter365 No53 goes in the post box
No53 goes in the box with hints about its contents and a little slightly poetic message on the envelope

It’s only fair that people who will only see this on the internet will not be disadvantaged, should they be interested in buying it, compared to someone who might see it physically at the Arts Centre for example. This one is fatter than average! So fat that I was worried that it might not go through the little 5mm slot that says you can pay ordinary letter rate and so left off the sealing wax except for a tiny bit at the edges where it’s a little thinner.

Sealing waxon #Letter365 No53
No53 has only a small dab of sealing wax at each side

Of course it could be a very tiny and thin work that I have wrapped up with stiff, thick material to protect it. Whatever it is I like it very much and for anyone who likes my work this would be a good one to pitch for. I’m going to post a couple of other works that I completed today on my David Smith Artist blog – these will not be anything like this #Letter365 piece so that will help you guess what area this might be in!

Once I have finished the sun comes out!

#Letter365 No52 goes in the box on a drear and dismal Sunday
No52 goes in the box and it’s still raining

Most of the afternoon it has been raining; sometimes so hard that I have found excuses not to make the walk up to the studio or back down to the house. It has been so dull that photography of my #Letter365 piece was not so easy. Almost the second I got back from the post box it stopped raining and the sky cleared. Isn’t British weather wonderful. Actually the day was relieved at times today with some wonderful skies that went a small way to compensate for yet more rain.

Take a look at the edge of the stamp sheet I have left attached. Royal Mail clearly doesn’t understand socio-economic groups: Buckingham Palace is definitely not the house of someone in group C1.

Birmingham hosts creation of No51

#Letter365 No51 displaying its custom Library of Birmingham with the iconic buidling itself as a backdrop
No51 displaying its custom Library of Birmingham with the iconic building itself as a backdrop

I made the decision long ago that I would not try to use sealing wax when I am away from home. Last time i was in Birmingham I used some spotty tape as a seal, I believe, but I forgot to take anything with me this time so created this custom seal. It was windy in the city today and a gust bent the letter at the moment  I clicked!

#Letter365 No51 goes in the box in Birmingham
No51 goes in the box in Birmingham

I posted it in the box near to Gormley’s “Iron Man”. The box has a helpful picture of a hand and a letter. I was unable to replicate this with my letter as I was unable to get the envelope to stick to my hand long enough to get it in the box and soon gave up as it began to rain. Also I wanted to pop in and take a look at Grayson Perry’s tapestries as it would be my last opportunity to see them. They were quite entertaining, amusing and in places very beautiful but I’m not sure if I would feel the same if I hadn’t seen the TV programmes.

Made my half century!

The envelope of #Letter365 No50
No50 is ready to go – on a little journey!

All ready to roll but as i am off to the Midlands tonight I will post it from a box in Redditch probably! I will try to post from there too – but no promises that I’ll get enough bandwidth!

I had a bit of a disaster with the envelope for tomorrow and didn’t check what I had printed on it before sticking the stamp on it! Luckily it’s a commemorative stamp so I can steam it off some time and use it another day. The backside of Buckingham Palace tastes horrible but sticks fast!

The piece today was quite interesting in how it evolved – a shame I can’t say much about it. I like the result and it has legs to go elsewhere, but now I have sealed it up I am wanting to have another look!

Nice and early for No49

#Letter365 No49 gets posted in the sunshine
No49 goes in the box in the noon day sun

I wanted to complete my #Letter365 piece as early as possible today so that I am free to go and work with the bees for a while.  We have some important tasks and may not get a chance over the weekend as we shall be away part of it.  All went smoothly with the art and I’m pleased to say that it took of in its own direction with confidence, which following a few days of struggle feels good.

It’s a while since I posted in the dark

#Letter365 No48 gets posted at night with a disgustingly gaudy stamp
No48 gets posted at night with a disgustingly gaudy stamp

When I say posted in the dark I mean after dark for we have quite strong street lights with a fairly cool colour temperature. Most lights round here are supposed to go off after midnight to save energy and preserve the dark skies – but ours don’t because the Post Office three doors away is deemed safer from burglary if there are streetlights. Any way this was posted well before midnight, but well after the post went.

From the outset today it was clear that I was never going to catch the post. I have been on the go since about 7.15 this morning and didn’t really have a proper breakfast or lunch but only managed to select some work and deliver it to the framers ready for Dorset Art Weeks; go to the opticians for an eye test and get my favourite specs fixed and cook dinner. So I didn’t get to go to the studio until it was almost dark!

What a giveaway!

#Letter365 No47 goes in the box - but I missed the post
The box plate WED tells you I missed the post with No47

Following on from my last post, all was good with this in the end, but I think I am just having a poor art day. There was another piece hanging around in the studio – a reject from a previous #Letter365 attempt! – which I thought I could use to do an experiment on, rather than risk the piece I was working on (not #Letter365 related). It was looking amazingly good and I was really delighted with it then I added the final process and found that the ink I’d used was not waterproof and it went from looking interesting back to a mess like the one that got it rejected last time!

So I missed the post, but there would have been a backlog with the Easter holidays so it will even things out a bit!