Give and get a tesserae surprise! Due to the postponement of the 2020 American Mosaic Summit, we invite members to promote the spirit of our annual gathering that deepens the connections within the mosaic art community with a one-on-one tesserae exchange with fellow members from the safety of our homes and studios. For several years, a highlight of the annual conference experience has been a brown bag exchange that sent attendees back to their studios with a new stash of materials and a new friend.
We have been mulling over the best way to do the exchange while being mindful of recommended safety treatment of surfaces to fight the further spread of the virus as well as consideration for those who are now or potentially soon will be on lockdown. Lucky for mosaic artists, our materials can withstand a little bleach or rubbing alcohol bath before use. Please review our recommendations below as well as the guidelines to ensure all exchanges are meaningful and safe.
Rather than fill a small brown paper lunch bag with items as we direct during the SAMA conference, we are asking that participants select a volume of tesserae that would fill a one-quart plastic bag or equivalent with tesserae from your own mosaic supply. A one-quart bag should fit in a USPS Small Flat Rate Priority Mail Box ($8.30 US) or one of similar size. Try to use a box that would be easy to drop in Mailbox or for Mail Carrier to pick up to limit the need to enter Post Office.
Maybe the tesserae are significant to you, rare or unusual or particularly beautiful. Consider choosing materials indigenous to your region, found on a trip, or unique to your mosaic style. Your offering may spark a colleague’s creativity or just make them smile.
Please include a slip of paper with your name and street or email address or business card and a note telling why you selected the tesserae, why you love to mosaic or connect further via email with your new friend.
How is the Mosaic Tesserae Exchange 2020 going to work?
- Deadline to Sign-up to participate in the form to the Right (or below) by Friday, April 3, 2020 (Free to Sign-Up. Participants to pay shipping cost).
- You will receive the Name and Address and Email of your secret exchange partner from us on April 6, 2020. Participants will send a package to one person, and receive a package from another!
- Use a one-quart plastic bag as a guide for volume and to keep your tesserae from floating loose in the shipping box.
- Be thoughtful with the tesserae you select to go in your package. Give items that you think might inspire someone, or that have a special meaning to you. This bag will be a gift to whoever receives it – make sure the contents are something that you’d like to receive. This is not an opportunity to give away your discarded bits and pieces.
- Ensure the package has appropriate cushioning around sharper pieces and follow our Safe Handling guidelines below.
- Put a note with your name inside the bag or insert a business card. It is fun to know who contributed the package, and the recipient may want to send you a note. It is a nice way to meet someone new (if you don’t already know them!)
- Ship your package by April 17, 2020. You can pre-pay your postage online and schedule a free pick-up of your package with the USPS HERE! You can also order free Priority Mail Shipping boxes to be delivered for free, although they will come in large quantities. Re-using old boxes or heavyweight shipping envelopes will work as long as you secure the contents within a bag and cushion appropriately for the tesserae you have chosen to share. Try to use a packaging that would be easy to drop in Mailbox or for Mail Carrier to pick up to limit the need to enter Post Office.
- When you receive your package, videotape opening your package and post to your social media account of choice with the hashtag #SAMATESS-EX2020. We will repost videos throughout April!
Safe Handling Guidelines for Sending and Receiving your Tesserae Exchange
If you are concerned about receiving packages, current research shows that sending and receiving packages is believed to be safe. Per WHO, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also low.
As an added precaution, review the CDC recommended steps for disinfecting non-porous surfaces with 70%(or greater) alcohol solution OR bleach solution. These same guidelines can be applied to your exchange before packing and after unpacking. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html
- Mix cleaning solution in a spray bottle and spray tesserae thoroughly.
- Rinse in a colander or bowl with clean water
- Make sure your tesserae are dry completely before packing.
- Repeat process after unboxing.
For further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org