Box Book

The Writing 

Since we need something new that we haven’t used for another class, I decided to revisit an essay that I first started writing at a garage sale two years ago. Since that day, I’ve tried off and on to make something of the essay with no real results.

The essay—or lack there of—is about a box that I have back home, filled with letters and other artifacts from my lifetime. Every now and then, I go to put something in the box and the lid won’t shut. At that point, I then have to decide what to keep, and what to throw away (and no I can’t just get another box, read the essay). In any case, the essay is basically me saying what I just did. Pretty boring. Nobody cares.

In thinking about this project and the form this essay might take, however, I was able to rethink the entire thing. I decided to change the whole form and approached the essay like the box was telling the story. It makes an otherwise boring piece of info about my life, at least a little more intriguing. So there’s the story from the box and then the actual artifacts that are separate poems/tiny experimental pieces that will be self-contained all to themselves.

Form & Concept

I first thought I’d do one of those books that have their insides cut out. You know, book safe style. And that was a cool idea for 10 seconds. Why would I make a beautiful book just to cut it up? And how does that really reflect the “box.”

Now I could just do a box like the one in my closet, put the artifacts and essay in the box like the letters in my own and call it a day, but I’m not a huge fan of these kinds of “books.” It’s art, I’ll give you that, but I’m uncomfortable calling a box a “non-traditional” book. So I decided to do a blending of the two with a traditional bound book within a box (made like a hard bound book).

So the basic idea is that I’ll make a miniature box out of book board and book cloth just like a hardbound book. It will look like a box but the cover will be hinged instead of two separate pieces. When you unhinge the cover, you’ll find that it’s actually the back cover of a book nested in the lid (either hardcover accordion or quarter cloth, depends on the final essay length). Then, in the bottom of the book there will be the individual artifacts with their self-contained experimental pieces: a package of seeds (will probably use a stamp for this), a letter in a hand-addressed envelop, a picture with handwriting on the back, and a few other items that I’m working out the logistics for.


Outside Box & Covers

                  Book board                            Free (Book Thing)

                  Book cloth                              $20

                  Art Paper                                 $10

Inside Book & Artifacts

                  Linen Paper                           Free (left over from midterm)

                  Handmade envelopes     Free (paper didn’t use for midterm)

                  Art Paper                                 $10

                  Stamps                                     Free (left over from midterm)

Unforeseen Extras                              $10



Before April 9                        Finish and Edit Essay      

                                                      Get Supplies

Before April 12                     Make mock-up box & book

Before April 16                     Make mock-up artifacts

Before April 19                     Make adjustments and get more supplies if needed

 Before April 23                     Make new mock-up, make three boxes

 Before April 30                     Make interior parts and assemble

 Before May 7                         Finish everything, price, and make display


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