Lea Redmond of Leafcutter Designs runs the World's Smallest Postal Service, transcribing letters of 1000 characters or fewer into a space roughly the size of a postage stamp, complete with envelope, wax seal, and magnifying glass. Here she has used her talent for tiny handwriting and Tennyson's brief lyric to create The World's Smallest Poem, a delightful example of reduced materials use. (The tradition of miniature writing extends back thousands of years; the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library has a copy of the Lord's Prayer handwritten by William Makepeace Thackeray, so small that it fits under a thimble.)
The World's Smallest Postal Service is one of Redmond's many whimsical, participatory explorations in art and language. Others include the Matchbox Poetry Theater, complete with a matchbox stage, matchstick characters, and a poetry 'script'; Tactile Poetry, wooden letters that are presented one at a time to form a poem; and Braille Works, custom-made texts in Braille using materials like vegetable seeds, cracked pepper, and aspirin tablets. Redmond ships with reused packaging, uses organic fabric, and seeks out sustainable materials whenever possible. For example, her Matchbox Theater uses paperboard that complies with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and is packaged in a biodegradable cellophane bag.