Matchbox heaven

A couple of posts back I shared with you my found matchbox collection from India. I have been busy working on them transforming them into little homes for handmade collage books made from all the bits and pieces I collected on the way. At this stage special mention has to go out to Maggie one of my travelling companions who spent most of the time away handing over all of the ephemera that came her way (when not travelling she lives in a shed so has nowhere to store all these bits and bobs which turned out to be my very good luck!) We became life long friends, I love a person who collects rubbish for me.

So here is a little teaser, I will write a post about each one in turn as there is so much going on in each book they deserves their own space to shine and tell their story. But for now a quick peek at the first four beauties. 

Second receipt book

The second handmade receipt book is full of drawings about transport. Travelling is always interesting when you use modes of transport that you wouldn’t do at home. For example the people who live around the backwaters of Kerala rely on boats to get around. Most of the area is made up of little islands carved up by an abundance of  lagoons and lakes. These areas of water are slightly salty as the water originates from and sits just inland from the Arabian Sea. 

In the big cities push bikes, motorbikes and tuk tuks are the choice of the majority able to weave in and out of the busy traffic and get you where you need to go quickly. I have seen all of these three converted into small vans to transport goods around in an economical fashion, you can’t really believe how much someone can stack up in one of these its a proper art form!

And finally come the buses and trucks the biggest things on the road which take longer to get places due to their size and not having the ability to squeeze through tiny gaps quite like a bike or tuk tuk although most will have a good shot at it!

Making books from rubbish

The previous post showed you some of the papers I collected in India. I collected so much stuff that I needed an extra bag to come home with! One of my plans was to hand make some little books that I could use for collections of drawings. They would then live in the pockets I made in my sketchbook.

This one was all about the animals I had seen up to that point on my journey. It is made from a collection of receipts stitched together and covered with part of a local newspaper using a particularly lovely bit of text. This was my first one and worked really well so it started a bit of a craze of collecting receipts and stitching books. More to follow…

Back from India!

I have just had the privilege to spend a couple of weeks travelling around south India. I love India and have been before but didn’t get down to the south so this time I wanted to explore the bottom bit thoroughly (or as thoroughly as you can in a two week window of opportunity). To prepare for the trip I handmade a sketchbook using the cover from an old book that once belonged to my dad (sorry Fath) and stitched in accordion fold pages with a range of pockets so I could collect stuff along the way.

 

It is kind of a big pocket size so it was easy to carry around. I had a couple of long train rides so used that time to create stuff and organise my finds.

 

When travelling my bed becomes my work place and desk making it difficult to go to bed sometimes it can get a bit crowded!

 

So keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more posts about what I made and drew and what creations arise now I’m home and back in the studio again. I have so many collected things to work with! Including a delightful set of found matchboxes…

And if you want to see more about where I went and what I did then you can follow all that on my other blog The Nomadic Northerner.

Fur Berlin

A tiny book finally complete with a new box for a home. If you follow me on Instagram you may remember the saga of ‘The dog who ate my homework’ and the little book that came out of that incident. Well I have finally got back to the original Berlin book and finished it and a kind friend donated me this box for its new forever home. It just needed a bit of customising and here we are!

Playing with folds

The previous post showed you how to create a flower fold. I currently am a little obsessed with it and what can be achieved. I particularly like it for its sculptural qualities and the ability it affords to build structures.

These are a few of my experiments. They are all made from a very old book (that was already falling to pieces and I’ve hung onto it for years) I finally had the courage to dissect. The covers are all cyanotype prints.

The joy of boxes

I spent most of yesterday working on a box I got given which had held some tins of biscuits but they had gone and the box wasn’t needed so I thought it would make an excellent home for all the little books I’ve been making lately.

They are quite fragile and work as a collection so I thought they needed a permanent home together…

There was space for some other ones too and room for a top layer. Very satisfying indeed!