I recently had an opportunity to chat with a fellow podcaster and snail mail enthusiast John of The Stationery Orbit! We talked all things snail mail, stationery, and the things we geek out about! You can check out the podcast episode here (Episode 14 of The Stationery Orbit). To keep the conversation going (as pen pals are wont to do), I asked John if we could keep chatting here.
First things first: how did you get into snail mailing?
I started in 2017 by sending fan mail to another (now defunct and very NSFW) pen podcast.
What’s your favorite thing about letter writing/snail mail?
All the things! Rubber stamps, wax seals, fountain pens, brush pens, letter locking, and washi tape all bring me joy.
Why did you start your podcast?
I had an idea last year to start The Stationery Orbit podcast because no one else was really dedicating their podcast to the art of creative letter writing. There are pen podcasts, pencil podcasts, journaling podcasts, and art podcasts, but I felt no one had settled into that particular niche. With the onset of COVID-19, I felt that I needed to stop putting it off and do it. Amazing what a major global crisis can do to motivate you.
What have you learned from making a podcast about snail mail?
A ton! I learned that ballpoint pen ink is actually a paste. That paper is a cellulose mesh. I learned the word intaglio (relief carving). I learned what a Black Chamber is. I learned that fountain pens (and paper to some extent) operate on the principle of capillary action. I learned about the history of the mail art movement and how to build my own travel mail art kit. I learned about vintage inks and I even (mostly) learned how to carve my own rubber stamps.
We match our pen pals based on their “top 5 geek loves” aka the things they nerd out about the most. What are your top 5 geek loves?
- Fountain pens (surprise?)
- Star Wars (especially what Dave Filoni has been doing)
- Pixar films
We’re ordering pizza! What’s on yours?
Pesto (not tomato sauce, trust me on this one), Sausage, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions.
Where can we find you online?
- @stationeryorbit on Instagram for creative letter writing
- @gneissguy on Instagram for photography and my two Siberian cats
And totally cheating because life needs some analog love:
Attn: John West
P.O. Box 621
Golden, CO 80402
Thanks for chatting, both here and on your podcast, John!
And because one of his Geek Loves in fountain pens, John has been generous enough to send us THREE that we can share with the community! Check it out below!