Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cardboard Art


Sometimes I just hate being a girl. It is only when I have a van full of stuff to schlep that this thought comes to me. Recently, when I participated in the Schlepp Sisters Show I was telling the other dealers that if I continue to do these pop-up sales, I have to devise a way to load, unload and display with the least amount of effort possible. I explained I was determined to find a cool and clever way to just prop up the storage box and showcase my items right from the vessel I hauled them in on. It is a painful realization when your age, body strength and occupation do not quite go together; which is what lead me to my recent search for cardboard display ideas.

My former staff would always laugh at me when I unpacked a box full of merchandise and was sometimes more thrilled with the packing supplies than the actual product. Opening a box from China, India or some other manufacturing country was always a delight to see because I often squealed over the unusual packing materials they used. To them, I am sure it was just filler, but to me sometimes it was soft or expandable or perforated with nylon and my imagination would soar! I have a small stash stockpiled here and there but rarely have I gotten around to designing with it. In the meantime, I still have plans....


At the Atlanta Gift Mart last summer, friend and divine artisan Wendy Addison made some amazing cardboard tassels to display with her products in the Tinsel Trading booth. I shot a quick picture knowing full well I would try to copy it someday (but unfortunately, still haven't). The inspiration was there as I devoured the random, rural and utilitarian style this (k)crafty item took on.

When painted white cardboard takes on an almost Antique Florentine feel.


The internet is now full of cool, clean and eco-friendly cardboard furniture for function or fashion. But I still love it used as an embellishment. Artist Noelle Rigaudie (as seen on Man Shops Globe) does amazing artisan pieces with it. Cutting, gluing and layering as if it were metal, clay or fabric.


Now if this cube had a back on it, a few tassels and trims, this might be right up my alley for antique show displays, but all of that is easy enough to add.


Just to show, recycling can be art and function.

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13 comments:

  1. If you figure out a way to make loading, unloading and setting up a show with fewer steps and less effort, forget doing shows, just sell your product and methods- the antique dealers I know would be standing in line waiting to learn from you.

    (Love the paper creations, too)

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  2. I just did my first pop-up event this past weekend and my fingers were crossed that the big, heavy pieces that I had help with unloading would sell because I had no idea how I was going to reload them if need be. Luckily, they sold. :-) Lesson learned here: I need a personal sherpa.

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  3. these are awesome, but Im cringing cardboard cut are way worse than paper cuts!!! these are some dedicated artist.

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  4. Great post very clever.
    I know what you mean about packing material. I remember the first time I saw corrugated kraft wrap, I fell in love. Gosh I was going to do this and that well it is still rolled up tucked in a safe place unused. But I have it when the mood moves me and the cute frame and tassel is terrific. Thanks for sharing. Kathy

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  5. Love the use of simple cardboard. I was at Farm Chicks show a couple of years ago and there was an artist who did all her displays with simple cardboard - it really was amazing. Google -"hutch studios cardboard" and see what else they have come up with - I especially love the boat she just made.

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  6. I'm always frustrated with myself because I don't have the body strength to load, unload, reload all my stuff for shows. I really dislike having to realy on someone to help me.

    These are awesome cardboard designs. It has my head spinning with ideas.

    And now if I could just figure out a way to get through an entire show withough having to visit the powder room three or four times (there's that age thing) I would be fine......

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  7. I've seen lots of things that have benefitted from your creativity. I expect to see a post showing how you've added a back and tassles to that bookcase.

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  8. Debbie,
    Last year at the Creative Connection art show their was an artist that set up her entire display out of cardboard? Her art was ALL cardboard. I cannot remember her name? I hope you got to see it! It was magical!
    I have been doing shows for 25 years and I have found the best displays to transport fold up flat. I used to carry my entire set up in a hatchback Firebird!LOL
    I am always looking for ways to make my displays unique! Maybe a little cardboard here and there would do the trick? jThanks for the ideas.
    Blessings,Becky R

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  9. Hi ther
    Do you know the work of Amelie Dillemann. I saw her first maybe 10 or more years ago in World of Interiors. You can see a bit http://ullam.typepad.com/ullabenulla/2006/03/queen_of_cardbo.html
    Best........Kathi

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  10. Oh my heavens! Ulla may very well have done some of these designs! She is fab...

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