Thursday, 10 May 2012

A Treasure Trove of Beautiful Objects

Old craft books are very often a 'treasure trove of ideas', as this one purports to be. However, I'm not sure that this one achieves its aim to "transform packing materials as if by magic into...a hundred beautiful objects".

The frontispiece is not very reassuring in that regard....
These strange masks certainly place the book very definitely in the early 1970s. Is the next one based on a young Billy Connolly?
But the Big Yin is one of the more advanced projects. Let's start at the beginning, with the introduction.
Well how inspiring! All we need is a little imagination, and ordinary packaging materials, like a tray for fruit can be transformed into... a tray for fuit. Or, as the book calls it, a "Fruit Salver (a present for mother)".
Lucky old Mum! OK, well.... painting a polystyrene fruit tray is just the start. There are the lovely Japanese lanterns...
The stunningly futuristic bedside lamp....
A lightbulb inside all those egg boxes painted with gold spray paint? Not so much a bedside lamp as a fire hazard? Or death trap?

I shouldn't be so negative, should I? Let's enjoy the imaginative possibilities, and look at all the fun children can have with this craft. Here's a child having fun...
Well, I think he or she is having fun. It's a bit hard to tell, to be honest. The elephant mask is made from the "moulded cardboard packing for three bottles of champagne". Yes, making playful items from packaging costs nothing - you don't need to be rich to have this much fun! Oh, wait, yes you do.

The next item is made entirely from cardboard, and is called "Collapsible Table". I think they may have identified a design flaw right there...
The last three items are wonderful examples of the power of a child's imagination. Seriously, you would have to have an extremely powerful imagination to appreciate these painted eggbox fragments as the playthings they pretend to be. 
 "The bathyscape"
"Prehistoric beasts"

"Monorail train"
 As the book says, "their origins...won't prevent their astonishing you!"

1 comment:

Jane Housham said...

Well, I've certainly found MY hands have become 'more supple'... This is a rare treasure indeed. What were these people on? A really funny post, thank you. Your wry comments just sharpened it up nicely. I don't know what my favourite photo is as they're all strangely compelling.