Obsessive Collection of Sorts

Most of my life I’ve collected small rusty metal bits and tumbled plastic junk in a reverse magpie type fashion. The refuse of my daily life would accumulate in the bed side “empty pockets here” bowl until I moved or tossed the contents. Little of this weird collection of crap remains. Some of it has ended up in my art journal, most the landfill.

A couple of months ago I thought it might be useful or interesting to put the individual items in small plastic baggies, attach them to a card or the pages of a book and label where and when I found them. It may be useful or interesting to only me.

I’ve had this image of how the collection should look, how the pages should be and what the finished product should feel and look. So I’ve set about making the object in my mind. The book will be a 6×6 inches with a large number of pages bound with heavy linen thread to make room for the objects. The objects fit into a small 2×3 inch plastic Ziploc baggies. The baggies are adhered to the page with white tape (washi.) Each object gets a small hang tag, 1×2 inches with red paper reinforcement around the hole and rough hemp twine to hold it to the page. Each tag will get a small piece of gridded tape with the info about the object where and when collected. The reverse side may have the name of the object.

I wanted the tags to appear cheaply manufactured not handmade. So I set about making them. I used a cricut machine with makes-the-cut to cut 120 tags and hundreds of small red circles with holes in the center. I needed them to be precisely cut to fit the tag- they had to be 8mm with a 3mm hole.  The machine handled the tags with ease, the small red circles… not so much. I ended up with hundreds of the 8mm circles on my desk needing the center removed. A twitter friend pointed out that it would have been far easier for me to use a hand punch to cut the circles and then a smaller punch to cut the center hole. She was right. I have a 3mm leather punch that would have been perfect on a stack of the circles.

I then spent the evening hunched over assembling the tags. I’ve completely finished 50, complete with hemp twine. I’ve glued the circles to another 40. I’ll stop and pick up the rest of the hemp tonight after work.

Looking at the collection of junk I realize this is completely insane. I’ve know that my nearly obsessive compulsion to pick up rusty bits of metal, shopping lists, distressed paper and other assorted junk was insane but the cataloging of my nutty compulsion is a step further than perhaps I should go.*

The thing is, I’m thinking of other things I can catalog in this manner.  I may have taken this a step too far.


*Here's a strange thing, I don't mind when the stuff gets tossed. the compulsion is collection, keeping it doesn't matter. So everytime we've moved the bedside bowl gets emptied into the trash and I start over again. In fact I've emptied the bedside bowl here a couple of times.

I've noticed I like paperclips a lot. I will almost always pick one up if I see it on the ground.