101 Things to do with an Ikea Box

Sunday, 5th March 2006


On Wednesday, Barbara and I went over to see the 2 Sagar Street gallery space in Castleford, where I've been invited to show my work in the Bookmakers Inc. exhibition. The gallery, formerly a shop, was empty between shows and made me feel that my booklets would look a bit lost in there.

I thought of a solution . . .

Walk softly and carry a bloomin' great sketchbook

The Normanton ChroniclesI found a large cardboard carton in the attic, which I'd saved when I assembled my mum's SVENNING Ikea office chair. I reversed the box, so the plain side was on the outside, cut it in half lengthwise, and reassembled it as the two halves of the book, with the cover made from another large sheet of card 'stitched' onto it with loops of thin wire, about the thickness of florist's wire. The artwork, blown up from a little 6 inch by 6 inch sketchbook I'd used when I was drawing my Normanton Chronicles, was printed on four oversize A3 sheets on my printer. Yes, the one I was complaining about the other day. I take it all back.

Having spent most of the day tinkering around with it I thought I'd ended up with a dog's breakfast but it looked better once the PVA glue I'd used dried and most of the crinkles in the paper disappeared.

The final touch, the ring binding, made from some black heavy duty cable I'd saved from some defunct electrical device, really seemed to transform the wobbly construction into something you could accept as a sketchbook. Next Page


The Normanton Chronicles

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk