Monday 11 February 2008

Boxes Made to Hold Nothing

Colonel's hard box, originally uploaded by Joey 7.

I made a whole load of boxes 11 years ago (yes, eleven years!) to sell at a craft fair, where I think I sold one or two... which annoyed me a little bit as I was quite pleased with them at the time.

In the box pictured above, I made the mottled paper from hand myself... pulped lots of Guardian on Saturday newspaper "Weekend" magazine (in the days when it was on newsprint and not glossy like it is now) in the same liquidizer that I also used for making soup in (yummy!), made a deckle and mould to form the sheets and stood on them in the back yard to squeeze the water out and then left them to dry in the sun. Making your own paper is a highly satisfying thing to do. What I liked best was seeing tiny parts of words in the new paper, which take on a dreamy, other-worldly feeling because they're taken out of context, literally. And the paper is made of words, some surfacing, others pulped out of existence, but you know they're still there.

From different types of paper, I cut little shapes which reminded me of natural shapes that you might find in sea-smoothed pebbles, leaves and other plant forms.

I also used bits of some lovely writing paper, which in turn had been made from obsolete nautical maps (why were they obsolete, I wonder? Had the places they mapped sunk below our notice?) which are very lovely things. I still have most of them, like a lot of arty-crafty people I can't stop myself from hoarding lovely things. The maps have wide expanses of colour (often indicating sea, as you'd expect) but then numbers every so often to tell you the depth of the water, and other "landmarks" that only sailors would be interested in, like rocks under the surface of the water or the edges of land and islands only big enough for a pair of puffins to balance on.

I liked this paper so much, I used bits of it to decorate these boxes. If you look closely at the box above, you'll see the words, "Colonel's hard". I have no idea what this means, and I like the fact that I don't know.

Please take a look at my Flickr set of these boxes if you'd like to see more:

If you've made similar boxes, or if you'd like to know exactly how I made these, please get in touch, i'm always happy to chat! :D


  1. I would have bought your box at a craft show! Seriously!! You do such beautiful work.

  2. Oh bless you Amy, so kind! I needed cheering up this morning and you've done it! :D

  3. i love a box and all that it represents! all the things that could fill it excite me! i gt made fun of all the time because i hoard anything that will hold something. But a decorative box.. a box just because is a new idea to me! thanks for sharing!


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