Matchbook number ten

This little box of delights was a lot of fun to create. It came from quite a large selection of ephemera collected on an eight hour train journey from Mysore to Chennai. During the trip we were given various refreshments which came in interesting packages, so of course I saved it all. Each time something came I squirrelled the bits and pieces away into a bag by my side along with other peoples bits and pieces that got passed down the row! From this selection I created a box/draw for the matchbox cover and two books to fit inside.

The first book was simple and came from one of the tea bags I used on the journey. The cover of the book is made from the label of the Taj Mahal Tea. The inside is part of the teabag dried out and emptied after use and some of the paper cup I drank the tea from.

The second book began with a label from the delicious biryani we were served, I cut it out from the box lid and as a bonus the back of the lid is very shiny silver which adds a bit of sparkle and a different surface to the book. A nice touch is that the label has the date stamped on it which always makes me happy…simple things. The accordion fold bit of the book was made from the place mat we had on the tray of food (I saved mine before it got any spillages on it!) As an aside all the labels for each matchbook is typed on this paper. Then i used various other bits of packaging to create the other elements of the book everything from ice-cream lids to sugar bags. Finally I used the rest of the teabag as the books tie to hold it together.

As I said at the beginning I had much fun with this creation mixing, matching and folding packaging. I have plenty of bits and bobs left so I expect something else will happen to all of that one day and another creation will be born.

Matchbook number nine

This little book was inspired by a visit to the Chamundi Temple area in Mysuru. It was a public holiday the day we went so was ridiculously busy, the queue for the main temple was enormous and the heat of the day was intense. So after some discussion we decided to visit a much smaller and older temple behind the big one and then wander down the approaching three hundred steps to the monolith of Lord Shiva’s Bull.

I found the steps to be the most beautiful of places. the view is amazing right across Mysore city. And the aesthetics of the place are stunning. The steps are chalky white and gently meander down the side of the hill. Visitors to the temple have used red and yellow to touch the edges of each and every stair as they have passed by. There are also white chalk patterns and rangolis drawn every now and then. It was quite magical.

So this little matchbook was born from this experience. I collected about five matchboxes on my walk down the hill from the scrub at the side of the steps. The gold was the inside of a cigarette packet discarded along the way along with a packet for some kind of stimulating drug apparently! We were also given a red and yellow thread bracelet as a blessing at the top of the hill that I platted together to form the tie.

The main body of the book was a piece of an envelope I received on the first day of the trip and the yellow (turmeric) and red powders were bought from a different temple on another occasion but fitted this purpose perfectly. It is possibly the simplest little book so far but I think maybe the most elegant? Well I am pleased with the result it captures my memory of that experience beautifully.

Matchbook number five

 Matchbook number five was actually a concept that came to me very quickly and seemed quite an ovbvious thing to do. It is created from a collection of receipts aquired after an evening meal in Madurai up on the roof of a lovely resturant. The food had been great as was the company and being on the roof gave the whole evening a rather lovely ambience so I wanted to create something to remember that evening. I had previously played with the round stamp the resturant use on each reciept and used a flower fold (instructions in a previous post find it here) to see how it looked. It worked very well and I liked the idea of little bits of information about the meal being hidden in each little folded square of paper. I cut out thirteen little identical squares making sure each one contained some piece of information about the meal i.e. time, date, choice of food, drinks and snipets of the address. There were thirteen because there were thirteen of us eating dinner together. Then it was a simple case of creating a structure with my thirteen little bits.

I am particularly please by the vesitility of this one. It can become all sorts of different shapes depending on how you open it up. I get a tad over excited at how a small little thing in a matchbox can fold out to create so many forms, it REALLY pleases me! I could fiddle with this for hours. As you explore the structure you glean little snippets of information about the evening and it builds up a picture of an event. For this one the matchbox draw was lined with some of a local newspaper from that day and I left thirteen of the waxmatches in the box that were in there when I found it.

Matchbook number one

First matchbox revamp happened on a train journey travelling from Kochi to Kozhikode about a four hour journey. I went prepared to pass the time creating my first book. I had only been in India for about three days but it doesn’t take long for me to start collecting. I had also come to India with a selection of pre prepared cyanotype papers and had already made a couple of prints of leaves I had found whilst wandering around Kochi.

The rest of my collection consisted of bus tickets, part of another matchbox, local newspaper cuttings and bits of flyers I found lying around. Obviously I am not remotely fluent in Malayalam the local language of Kerala but the shapes of the letters are so beautiful and poetic they were begging to be shown off. The journey flew by and I was very contented with my first creation.

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!

A new fold

I spent a day this week with a lovely friend in York who I hadn’t seen for a while. She is also mad about paper and making books. She showed me a leaflet she had picked up with a very interesting structure created by folds. So I had to replicate it because I knew if I had only drawn the instructions I would have forgotten how to do it by the time I got home! She also introduced me to some lovely watercolours I am going to have to track down, took me to a museum, cooked some delicious food and took me to a great charity shop…all in all a great day out.