Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Italian Letters

First Day Cover - An artists' book by me, Open 18' x 12"
Hi Willow this post is dedicated to you. In 1982 I was rummaging through some first day covers at a local stamp shop. I kept noticing the same name recurring James, Jimmy, Jake & JK Risser. I looked closer and noticed that they all seem to have been written by the one person a Lise in Firenze, Italy. I spent the next hour combing through the box and discovered about 28 envelopes with Risser as the person that had been written to and most were signed with Lise. There were some with some form of mail art on them. I decided I had to have them and bought the lot. They sat in a box for about 3 years. My question was what do I do with these? I decided I wanted to share them and went about creating a book structure that would display them for viewing and would house them. It is an accordion structure, using acrylic for the pages.
The response to the piece in a show I did was astounding. Everyone was trying to figure out what the story was about. Who were these people and why the art element? What were the seemingly cryptic messages in the art? In all the envelopes there was but one letter but what a sweet one it was. Here are some images for you. To me they are a work of art in themselves
Soon after I went searching for the story behind them. I googled and got nowhere. About 5 years later I googled again using only the two names I had, Risser and Lise (no surname). It seems the Internet had expanded!!
Tomorrow; How I located the writer & the story of Lise & Jim.

4 comments:

willow said...

Oh, my-my-my!!! How did you know I would absolutely flip over this?! I would have snatched these oh, so charming letters up in a second, too. I love the clever way you have displayed them.

Now I'm waiting on the edge of my computer chair for the answer to the mystery! You are just like the History Detectives! :D

And by the way, I have TAGGED you! (But only if you would like to play...and don't play until you have posted the sequel to this post!) Come on over for the details. :)

A World Away said...

OK Willow, post first, tag second... sounds like fun. Hope to get the second part up tonight before you fall off the chair LOL. Cheers

skatej said...

Oh my goodness! I'm looking forward to hearing the story! It's always been my dream to come across some letters or a journal belonging to someone from long ago.

Margaret said...

It sounds so interesting--what a fantastic find. I can't wait to hear the story!