Once again Christmas and New Year seemed to have come round too fast. With high street stores, advertising and Oxford Street forcing the festive season upon us last month, all we could think of was ‘what can we do for our New Year’s card this year’? As usual time had become and issue, as it was the beginning of December, we were involved in ongoing work and didn’t have much time getting quotes from printers. An idea of a card with a folded boat had proven successful earlier in the year as a birthday card for some friends and family, so we decided to use it, accompanied by a message that had a naval undertone, ‘Tailwind for a good 2013’. Spyros and I both have a connection with the sea, so it seemed right to go with it. But how to mass produce 120 little origami boats? It turned out that the only way to make these cards was to make use of our own manual labour. An old road atlas of the UK was cut into small squares and served as origami paper, a trip to the paper merchant in Brixton had a happy ending when the black paper turned out to have a blue tone and the hunt for a gouge to cut the waves ended at Intaglio Printmakers, where a lino cutting knife of just the right size was found. The work could start...
I felt like sitting in my own little factory when boat after boat emerged from the stacks of cut-up road atlas, A5 paper took shape of a card when folded down the middle and little waves were cut in it to hold the boats. All together it took around a day and a half and some sore fingers (not blisters though!) to complete this little mission.
Some of the boats were made from squares that feature a bit of UK coastline, others entirely from sea areas. Apart from one boat that featured the village of ‘Holland-on-Sea’, which I sent to my father in the Netherlands, the boats were sent at random. A week later however the following email was sent to us by a friend:
The folded map which makes up the paper boat is clearly the product of extensive research into my background, since it features the small Lincolnshire town of Louth, where my parents would often take my sister and I for fish and chips on our childhood holidays to the the east coast; (I'm slightly concerned that you may also know my place of birth, mother's maiden name and last three numbers on the back of my credit card...).
On the other side of the map is a tantalising slice of the curious foreign land of Cumbria, where Keiko spent her formative years (well, one of them). Also on this side is another thread in this shrewdly woven tapestry of biographical references, with a town on the Isle of Man called Andreas, where I believe you yourselves are spending new year (at least, I think that's what you said...)
In case you found any biographical reference on your card, we’d be very happy to hear your story!
And if you are interested in custom made individual cards, please drop us an email, we are open for commissions!