Collage Boxes: Scraps of My Life

Another recent obsession, inspired by the mini assemblages I saw by matjames metson: collage boxes in my own voice. Each is built like a regular box base. I started by covering the bases with book cloth, then I made a folded platform inside that I covered with scraps of painted paper. (To see how to make a box base, see page 226 of Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms). These measure 3" x 4" (8 cm x 10 cm). I started with color, but wasn't getting anywhere, so I chose some words. That helped. When I got stuck again, not sure if I wanted to "use up" a postage stamp, I happened to read a post by collage artist Kelly Kilmer. Being "in the now" was what I needed. I cut up the stamp and was able to finish. By listing their contents, below, I realize how the boxes connect to my life, are part of my life.

collage boxes, 2012

 a label from the colored raffia
I have used for wrapping gifts for years, 
a found bookplate taken from an old book cover
of one of many covers my friend gave me to use for art,
a hole punch of cork book cloth that I used for Jury Box
a photo I took of the swallowtail 
that emerged in my yard in 2008 
(the first I'd ever seen metamorphose)

 a piece of an airmail envelope,
 a piece of a parking pass from when I guest lectured
in 1998 at UCBerkeley in my friend's class,
gold thread,
part of a linoleum cut illustration I made,
thinking of my late son, that I intended to use
in Critical Opalescence (but didn't),
a piece from a CCA library discarded card catalogue card,
a handmade stencil of a crow on brown paper

ok to ship
 an old watercolor I did,
pieces of postage stamps,
a fragment from a receipt leftover
from Oquaga Press, from where I bought
a huge batch of used metal type in the late 1980s,
a phrase from an art postcard for Ray Johnson at BAM
two punched holes of painted paper

peace, peace, peace
 letterpress printed words from Crows at Home,
a piece of a postage stamp,
a fragment of an old watercolor I did,
a piece of colored raffia,
a phrase from a discarded card catalogue card,
other painted paper

fragments from a milk label (milk used for lime pie),
two jump rings from my random box,
waxed linen thread,
a piece of map of the Bay Area,
a piece of wrapping paper given by a close friend:
(sign language letter U),
a fragment of an old watercolor I did,
black raffia,
a dried rose saved from when Carl Dern died (2009)

Update 3/20/15: Four of these are available from Etsy here.


Gabriela said…
2 things i love:
1. I love the way you found parts of yourself through your reflections.
2. i admire your journey and dedication through the process.
Kelly Kilmer said…
Alisa, thank you for the link! I'm glad that you liked it.

I adore your work. I am always recommending your books and blog to my friends and students. Your passion and dedication to your work shines brightly. Thank you for being you and for sharing so much!!
Velma Bolyard said…
alisa, these boxes are very interesting. i suspect the making could be therapeutic as well. i can so envision using this as a project in my class, or other classes where connection and understanding are the "by-products" of the making.