The very first time I dove down the miniatures rabbit hole I chose one of my favourite things – a little, old tatty novel.
Being the path-paver for all miniatures that followed, this little book was fairly simplistic in design, but big in nostalgia, and really served to be an experiment in miniature paper art.
Little did I realise that it was the beginning of an insanely obsessive, vintage-overloaded hobby that would have me scheming at 3am and forgetting to feed myself. (The by-products of exciting ideas I suppose)
I love the aesthetic of an old library stacked with shelves of dusty books (complete with ladder and butler) and I wanted to pick up on that vibe with this artwork. I also LOVE a good novel, and the idea of reading a story over and over without tiring of it – which partially inspired the roughed-up aesthetic.
To me this book had a life of its own that I wanted to somehow portray. It was an adored treasure, read over and over, its pages creased and worn from being handled so much.This book was someone’s favourite novel that they would keep forever.
Before I started making anything, I jumped on the google machines and found at least 3 good images of old novels that would serve as inspiration, and then chose my favourite features from each until I had a glorious mish-mash.
To give it that true aged look, I stained some copy paper with tea, and cut out 2 pages worth of tiny book pages. The task of gluing these to the book’s cover was onerous, horrible and time-consuming and I had to walk away many times to prevent the inevitable cross-eyed-ness.
Once all the pages were in and embellishments finished on the cover, I had a bit of fun roughing up the paper to give it that “old” look. This bascially involves sliding the edge of a pair of scissors across the surface a few times – very carefully – to wear it a little.
Then voila – my little book was done.
The next step involved giving my artwork a good dunking in sealer so it came up all glorious and shiny. I painted it at least twice – to satisfy the perfectionist me – and then once dry – I admired my handiwork, emitted some sort of ridiculous squeak of excitement and enjoyed the overall satisfaction of having mastered it.
I chose to make this particular one a necklace because I think that old books are generally universally loved, and thought it would probably make a damn-cute piece of jewellery. Am I right?
I had another one of those ephifanatic (shhhh, it is a word) moments after this little one was done. My brain went into serious overdrive thinking about all the different little objects I could make replicas of, and after a while I had to pull the breaks on the excitement so that I could start to put together a game plan.
What I learned:
That working in miniature is freaking awesome.
That endless, endless, endless possibilities await…