I love to make miniatures. I started making books that fit into a matchbox pretty much immediately when I started making books. For the same reason many bookbinders do: Because these leftovers of beautiful papers and leather and whatnot are lying around, and they seem to good to toss. So we make another, smaller book from it. But there are still leftovers…
On the left 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 the for the last signature.
I once made a minitature library, just to give it away. I don’t clearly remember what for. I think it was for a promotion for an Etsy Team I was a member of at the time. Here the whole shelf with eight books fit inside the matchbox. You can see it on the right.
Flicking through my photos while writing this, I realize I have made more miniature books than I myself had even realized. They are just such a fun way to experiment with form, and can be nice and funny gifts.
I have some sweets related books. On the left you can see my mini ritter sport booklets, but there were also toffiffee books, each the size of one toffiffee and sitting inside the original box. There were also mini note blocks 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 it 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 other children in that time 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.
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: