Saturday 27 November 2010

olde, worn, weary beautiful things

I was charmed by the discovery of The Black Spot Books via Blood Milk.

It’s is a quirky etsy shop stocked full of leather-bound and literary goodies

that is usable and wearable art made by Margaux Kent from her studio in Philadelphia.

The miniature books can be worn as necklaces as well as being a tiny journal to record treasured quotes or thoughts.

And the works are beautifully photographed often with skulls and test tubes as props.

I couldn’t resist this Antique Baseball mitt large journal necklace, covered with a piece of brown leather from an antique baseball mitt. It is much larger than her usual journal necklaces, and I am looking forward to the joy of opening the package and feeling the leather when it arrives, having travelled thousands of miles across the Pacific ocean.

And I was so tempted to become the custodian of this little treasure that is covered with a bit of beautiful brown vintage boot leather, and tied it with a piece of vintage deer skin. I may weaken!

A part from my love of books and paper, it is the stories about each work that captures my heart.

Leather rescued from an olde sofa, saddle or boot……

Covered with a piece of antique sofa leather. Beautiful black with brown edges.

This piece below was abused with tacks.

I love the texture and crinklyness, as does it’s maker.

Margaux describes her work.

My arts are made from olde things, treasures found and recovered from misfortune and neglect, relics of the unusual, the confused and the macabre, cut and pulled and bound into wearable curiosities and inscribable keepsakes. I used to make them for me and now I make them for everyone.

My books are made using archival insides and vintage outsides. Inside you’ll find line-free strathmore drawing paper – thick, hand-torn, acid-free pages that work perfectly with ink, pens both thick and superfine, pencil, charcoal, and myriad other mediums. The books’ covers are made using hand-picked scraps and worn leather, cut to fit the appropriate size. The leather I use has been bartered from farms in Ecuador, ripped from old chairs in Holland, taken from boots and shoes and saddles and bags and wallets, and found in abandoned houses across the United States. I scavenge dumpsters and flea markets and yard sales all over the world. I hand-stitch each unlined page to the next and then finish it with a soft or hard cover.

Every book is made with different materials, so no book will ever have a duplicate.

I covered this with bit a very light yellowy vintage deer skin and tied it with an orangey bit of another. One the front is the roughish part of the hide, uncut by my hands.

I haven‘t loved a book this much in a long time. I covered this in olde black leather given to me by my husband’s brother’s father in law who is an upholsterer! Good fortune indeed! This is olde and worn mid-century leather that was removed from a sofa. The edges and cracks are brown. I cut out a little hole in the front to frame an antique tin type. I love too.

Another black leather journal made from crackly olde sofa leather with the brown underneath sneaking through. An old little baby photo afixed upon a tintype, likely from the 1800s, adorns the front.

There is a lovely interview with Margaux on lillyella.

And she shares what she is inspired by:

oh! Perfect combinations of little things.

These things find me, and are often in cahoots with music and the way the outside air moves around me.

Landing in strange places. The Sea. Abandoned houses. Abandoned lives. Bits and pieces of what was.

Dreaming of going back in time. Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. Books. Words. Twilight Zone. Walking.

Magic. Mystery. Cross over. This is what I call the spot in music where the magic happens.

It has a name, but i forget it, like in Leonard Cohen’s hallelujah when he sings, …minor falls and the major lifts… oh. mmmmm. that spot. and when notes go up like when Nina Simone sings, “because I have loved so vainly” the vainly part. over and over these things.

cool air and sprinkly rain and walks through it. when you start out chilly and end up so super cozy.

cobblestone streets. imagining what it was like when…

like when i would walk around philadelphia reading benjamin franklin’s autobiography and try to imagine him walking on the same streets, touching the same cobble stone.

europe. i wear a ring from 100 – 200 a.d. – thinking of who wore it before.

when i dream of flying (hasn’t happened in a long time) yodeling. running down mountains (and peeing sometimes as a result of laughter and motion) thunder. lightning. olde fuzzy music. stripes. pit fire. swimming. wandering. getting lost. freeing myself of numbers and counting for no reason. horseback riding anywhere, but in Iceland, oh. junk. junk. junk. olde things. dirt. photographs. Anselm Kiefer. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Books. Forests. Walter. Søren.

Margaux also has another lovely estsy shop of found treasures at Plundered.

I am always searching and often finding good things that I haven’t a use or thought for straight away.

This, Plundered Etsy Shoppe is where I shall put these things!



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