Now, a secret project finally revealed! Earlier this year I was honored with the task of making the awards for the annual Finnish Nihil Interit poetry awards. I won't go into the background here much since hardly any of you know Finnish (you can read more about Nihil Interit on their website if you do), but the idea is that the poetry award objects are commissioned from other poets. I'm certainly a fan of this to poets from poets idea!
Last Friday these "poetry medals" were presented to the poets Pauliina Haasjoki and Leevi Lehto at Turku Book Fair, and I can finally share them here with my readers. I've been pretty excited about these ever since I finished these some weeks ago, so it's about time! The boxes I already blogged about, impatient as I was.
I was given a free hand to create whatever I wanted, which was such an ideal situation to start with in this case. Even though I'm best known as a bookbinder (and a poet) I opted to create medals for the award winners instead of handmade books. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm drawn to objects that are more special and less everyday, when given the opportunity (not to say my notebooks are bland and boring), and award ceremonies are perhaps one of the most obvious situations where the object presented is mainly symbolic and usually entirely decorative. I wanted to play along with traditions and still come up with something unexpected.
The linen covered presentation boxes feature hidden magnets to hold the medals in place by the pin.
My new-to-me typewriter was put to use for the first time as I repeatedly typed the word runo (Finnish for poem) onto linen and featherweight Japanese tissue. The tissue was then adhered to a sheet of translucent natural mica. Mica can be split into ever thinner and more translucent layers, more times than you'd first imagine. To me, mica was really the starting point of this project: its naturally occurring shapes, its ethereal translucency, and it's multi-layered structure, they all formed too delicious a parallel to poetry to pass by the opportunity to bring the two together.
And finally, some minimalistic diplomas to go with the awards:
Centering stuff on a typewriter... Let me tell you - it's hard, especially for a beginner! I'm glad our new neighbours didn't come knocking on our door to complain after I'd spent the better part of two hours banging my typewriter somewhat aggressively.
I now want to say huge thanks to Oskari (who gave me the typewriter - it's awesome and I love it even when my fingers hurt), to O-P (who kindly made sure the awards ended up in Turku when I wasn't up to travelling), and most importantly to Nihil Interit ry for trusting me with this wonderful task!