16 May, 2010
The Lost Art of Letters
I salvaged a stack of paper from an architectural firm I was working for a few years back after they changed their address and the letterhead went out of date. The paper stock was so nice I just couldn't let it go in the bin- so I chopped off the letterhead and ended up keeping hundreds of sheets which i decided to print on and use as letter writing paper and to make little sketchbooks with.
I printed on the paper with these beautiful wood blocks that I found while traveling through India. They were originally used for printing on fabric.
And while the pile of papers hasn't exactly diminished from the letters I have written in the two years I've had this paper, it does make me want to write more. Email is convenient- letters are civilised.
Babara Blackman (wife of artist Charles Blackman) wrote in her book 'Glass After Glass' of writing letters:
"Letter writing is an exchange of intimacy. The telephone is for talk... but a letter is the gift of a spontaneous soliloquy to the person in whose presumed presence it is made."
I have been really fortunate recently to have received several wonderful letters. And I have really enjoyed writing a few letters recently as well. There is something about the finality of putting pen to paper that makes you more thoughtful about what you write about. And now that I bought a 10 pack of stamps I will actually send them too.