I love to make miniatures. I started making books that fit into a matchbox pretty much immediately when I started making books. I started to accumulate scraps of beautiful papers and leather, cut-offs left over from larger books, and they seem too good to toss. So I made another, smaller book from it. But there were still leftovers…
On the top you see one of my very first “matchbooks”, and also one of the very first of these small books with some sort of content: there were dandelion leaves painted on the edges of the first page of each signature, and a guinea pig was shown running around, eating them all up, leaving none of them for the last signature.
I once made a miniature library, just to give it away. I think it was for a promotion for an Etsy Team. Here the whole shelf with eight books fit inside the matchbox. You can see it on the right.
When I made a series of journals using foil packaging (like bags of crisps or Asian soups) for journals, I also made a series of mini ritter sport books. And once I got started, ideas for other, sweet related miniatures came faster than I could make books: I made two boxes of toffiffee books, each the size and shape of one toffiffee (made from polymer clay) with a miniature scroll inside. There were also mini notepads which looked like alsorts liquorice…
But also some of my more serious art work comes in the form of miniatures. The spell against the creature nightmare, which is a German magic spell, is very fascinating to me, and I used in for several works. The first time I used it, I wrote it inside a leather bound book that sat in a fitting matchbox. More recently, I created altered matchboxes with collections for an installation on a nightstand with the spell.
To touch and to cut was a miniature book, and the first of my works with a mathematical content, The City/Die Stadt is a miniature book, sitting in a matchbox again, The Smiley Oracle, …
“Du bist min, ich bin din” must be the smalles book I made in an edition. It was attractive especially for weddings, and resulted in a couple of commissioned works. I made one with the poem, and a silhouette of the bride and groom printed onto a piece of leather and set into the leather cover which was a bit smaller than 1cm square.
Just very recently I started to make not just miniature books, but also miniature furniture and the like, to create miniature worlds inside my bottles for my message in a bottle project. And of course these also always contain a miniature book.
I can’t quite explain the facination miniature books have for me. As a child I have been collecting miniatures. It was in fashion to have a shelf of miniatures which was called a type case (it was clearly typecase inspired but smaller and never functional). Like many of my friends I had one of them hanging on the wall in my room, and I filled it with miniatures of all sorts. I don’t remember what became of that, or when I gave that up. I was never into it with my full heart. And other than that, I was never one for cute things. – With the apparent exception
Anyway, it seems like I will keep on making miniatures. The main fascination for me is not so much their cuteness, it is more the challenge involved in the making. Also I like that small books are so portable: I like to create things that can be carried in a pocket of your jeans. Here is a gallery with some of my miniature work: