Apples Series

new bottles

The message in a bottle bug bit me again last week when one of my bottles that I dispatched in London was found, miraculously (or not) upstream from where it was dropped. Since then I made five more bottles, which I want to show off here.

Number 88: Parcel, Book, and Apple

Message in a Bottle No. 88

Message in a Bottle No. 88, title: Parcel, Book, and Apple, by Hilke Kurzke

The design of this bottle is radically different from those before, as the scene inside is now horizontally oriented rather than with the bottle standing upright. The parcel is glued to the carpet, as well as the apple. The book is free moving (and of course not blank), which makes it hard to capture. Here is a view of it that also shows my message to the finder:

Detail of message in a bottle No. 88

Detail of Message in a Bottle No. 88, title: Parcel, Book, and Apple, by Hilke Kurzke

Number 89: Ward

Message in a Bottle No. 89

Message in a Bottle No. 89, title: Ward, by Hilke Kurzke

This bottle has – beside the message of course – a piece of linen fabric with coins stitched on. When I got intererested in embroidery two years ago (has it really been that long?!) and learned how to add little mirrors and the like, I thought it looked interesting and made this piece with rows of one and two pence pieces. I had this idea that coins were used as a ward against evil in medieval magic, but reading up on it on Wikipedia apparently it wasn’t coins in particular but any shiny objects were thought to protect from the evil eye. I though tit was an interesting thing to add to a bottle, but I am a little concerned about whether it will float. The maths say it will: I put the piece on the scales, and it was less than 100g, and although these were 90ml bottles, I believe they actually hold 100ml. So anything that weights less than 100g should make it still a floating bottle. – A test in practise will show.

Number 90: Three Letters

Message in a Bottle No. 90

Message in a Bottle No. 90, title: Three Letters, by Hilke Kurzke

Another bottle in horizontal design. This time I mounted my scene on a piece of birch veneer. The three envelopes do contain pieces of paper that can be pulled out and read. The scene also has a chocolate bar and an apple. This bottle got me started on a food theme. The letters are addressed to: Unknown fellow chocolate lover, new friend, and philosopher. And in the last latter I wrote about my thought on food as such. And it provided a theme for the contents in the next bottles as well.

Number 91

Message in a Bottle No. 91

Message in a Bottle No. 91, title: Come Eat With Me, by Hilke Kurzke

This one probably looks rather odd from this perspective. I wonder how long it will take finders to realise they are looking at the underside of a table. Normally I only show work in progress pictures once a bottle has been found, but here’s the exception of the rule. The photo below shows the table before being inserted in the bottle.
I am rather proud of the water glass, by the way. Can anyone guess what it really is? – It is a plastic bit that I had lying about which I glued onto the table.

Message in a Bottle No. 91, title: Come Eat with Me, by Hilke Kurzke

Number 92

Message in a Bottle No. 92

Message in a Bottle No. 92, title: What can I tell you?, by Hilke Kurzke

This one is rather similar to the three letters bottle. In this case, however, the letter is still outside the envelope and I added a pencil.

Some more thoughts and plans

That’s it, these were the five bottles I was going to show you. Since the dispatch into the Thames was so successful (with a rate of 1/2 found), I currently have the vague plans to go to London again in the next couple of months and have another splash there.

London Bottle Found

No. 86 and 87 just before their drop

The photo on the left shows the two bottles that I tossed into the River Thames two weeks ago, April 12th to be precise. They were two fairly hastily made bottles, and I don’t have any photos of them in my studio. A few days before we left for London, M. said to me: “Don’t you want to drop some bottles while we are in London.” to which I replied truthfully: “Well, I’d have to make some first.”

But the time was lacking for anything fancy, and the fact that I didn’t have any ready made was due to a general frustration because my UK-river bottles didn’t fare well to date: not a single one was found!

But, as you know, I quickly made these two bottles on the evening before leaving. On April 12th they were dropped into the river Thames by my two helpers, and on April 18th an email reached me:

Hi Hilke,

 I wanted to let you know that I found your bottle with the bookmarks 
 in it, that you launched from Chelsea bridge on the Thames foreshore 
 near Barnes bridge yesterday.  I was looking for stone-aged tools when 
 I came across your bottle and it has indeed made me smile and also 
 confirmed that you always will find something unexpected on the banks 
 of the thames.
 What a lovely idea and an interesting project to do.

 I hope you have a great day and keep up the good art work.

 xx

What joy and excitement! Barnes bridge is It is such a small message, and being really busy at the moment, it took me some time until I managed to tell you about it, but it helped to raise my spirits so much. Since then I have been making 5 more bottles, but I’ll talk about them later.
According to google maps Barnes bridge is 2 bends upstream from Chelsea bridge. But of course the tides mess with the Thames’ currents and it might have gone to and fro for a while until it was found.

The green dot shows Chelsea Bridge (drop-off) the blue one Barney Bridge (where it was found).

As I said, this was hugely motivating. Maybe I’ll just have to drop them all into the Thames? And I made 5 more since I received this notice. But I’ll show you the new bottles in a new post. I am already writing it, so it will probably come up in the next days. I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Two new bottles and a dispatch into the River Thames

Chelsea Bridge 2

Chelsea Bridge in London, near Battersea Park, image via Wikipedia

I needed a new passport, which I need to apply for in person at the German embassy in London. This was the reason I spend a couple of days in London at the beginning of the week. Of course I wanted to dispatch a bottle into the River Thames.

chelsea bridge

Bottles No. 86 and 87 waiting for the dispatch

Now I didn’t have any filled bottles left here. You noticed that it got a bit quieter here in the last months, and that has a couple of reasons. For one I was really busy with other stuff. But also I am a bit frustrated with bottles put into the River Trent (I lived at the shores of the River Rhine before, and that was great for dispatching bottles). So I had to come up with new bottles on the eve of leaving. I made a couple of small prints in the last weeks, and thus wrote a little for a bottle, wound up a print (Nightlion, small), and then had to realise that it was too big for the small bottle. So I put it into a larger bottle, which I already colleted for when I run out of small ones (which honestly doesn’t seem likely to happen soon with the current rate of production). And then, because I really would rather stick to small bottles for now, I filled another bottle with two prints from my women with hats series of prints.

On Tuesday we visited Battersea Park (and the children’s zoo), and then dropped in the bottles from Chelsea Bridge. The bigger one was dropped in by my daughter. M. was really quick with the camera and managed to capture the moment:

Dispatch of Bottle No. 86

And Bottle No. 87 was dropped in by my son. Unfortunately I was slower, and the bottle had already dopped with the shutters opened:

Shortly after Dispatch of Bottle No. 87
In the picture below you can see them both floating down the river. If you click on it, you go to an ipernity page, and there you can choose to “see all sizes” to actually see that the tiny white specks in the middle of the circles are actually bottles.

Messages in Bottles No. 86 and 87 floating down the River Thames
Like always I am hoped for a good travel and happy finders for these bottles.

Bottle Found on the Dutch Coast

No 75

Bottle No. 75 before taking it on its journey

 

 

Yay! One of my “Christmas” bottles was found about two weeks ago. Not long ago the following email reached me:

Hello Hilke,

I found one of your bottles:

We were walking along the beach from Callantsoog to the south. After 5 km we started walking back. This time I started walking at the high tide mark and collected garbage (Mainly plastic) and throwing it in special wooden boxes on the beach (a project to keep the sea /beach clean). And soon my wife and children did the same. After 1,5 km my eye fell upon a little glass bottle with a strange content. My Daughter picked it up and we saw it contained a paper with French writing. We were very enthusiastic and started thinking what the message could be. Maybe we would get a castle in France??? We continued collecting garbage and came back to Callantsoog. And drove to our vacation apartment. There we opened the bottle. The papers were wet but good readable we could dry them on the heater.

Foto by the finder

Foto by the finder

Well no castle, but we cleaned a few km of beach and also your garden!!

If you look closely in the picture above you might be able to read my letter and see what they are referring to here: The bottle contained bits and bobs that I found while searching through our garden (still at the old rented house). I like to do that from time to time. I have here a selection of glasses on my shelf with rusted nails, snail shells, stones, bits of stones and shards, feathers, … yielding a somewhat strange collection of odd tiny things. – Well, and on one day, I decided to put the items into a bottle and post them instead of keeping it in my studio.

I didn’t have high hopes for the bottle to get found because it looked so much like trash. And thus I thought that maybe I better should not throw it into the see, where – not being found – it might end up as trash. But on the 29th of December, on the ferry from Ijmuiden (Amsterdam) to Newcastle, I shrugged off my doubts and threw the bottle over board.

And all is well in the end: the bottle did get found, and provided entertainment, a sense of adventure, and a connection. – It ended up being all I wanted it to be. I hope the finder thinks the same!

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Drawing by the finder’s daughter

I was delighted to read that they took a liking in my fish prints, some of which are featured here on the blog, and his daughter ended up making a coloured and absolutely stunning version of one of them. – Really amazing.

So thanks over to the Netherlands for sharing your story and pictures, it was a pleasure! May our ways cross again some time!

On my shelf

shelf in my studio, showing some of my collected items. – Mostly rusty nails.

 

Dispatch into the North Sea from the “King Seaways”

King seaways IJmuiden, December 2011

King Seaways via Wikimedia Commons

I boarded the King of Seaways on the 29th of December in Ijmuiden (near Amsterdam) to go to North Shields (Newcastle) together with my husband and the twins to go home to Nottingham after our Christmas vacation in Germany. After our dinner on board the children got ready for bed and I dropped two of my bottles into the North Sea. I am not quite sure what time it was, maybe 8pm in the Netherlands. If that is true, then we had been sailing for about 2 or 3 hours at the time, in any case we were still much closer to the Dutch than to the English coast.

These were the last two bottles I still had prepared, carrying the numbers 83 and 75.

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a last look at the bottles, still in the cabin

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stepping out onto the promenade deck

We had our cabin on deck 11 which is rather high above the water. I went down as low as possible on the promanade deck, maybe deck 9, and there at the stern I threw the bottles over the star board, hoping that this way they won’t get struck by the propeller. In the ship’s light I could see one of them floating away, obviously surviving the fall. The other sounded o.k., but I failed to see it. – The attempt to make a photo failed, unfortunately but not unexpectedly.

The following picture was taken the next morning: Somewhere there in the East my bottles float.

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Sunrise seen from the stern of the King Seaways

Now it is time to make new bottles. I have no plans yet, so I am myself looking forward to see how the new series will look like.

 

Christmas Dispatch in Telgte

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In the by now traditional Christmas – Splash bottles No. 72, No. 82, and No. 85 were put into the river Ems in Telgte. All bottles are small world bottles, No. 72 the first I made, featuring the smalles book on a bed. Bottles No. 85 has the largest book, in the form of an art folder. And No. 82 is one with apples in a basket.

Originally I thought, I’d do something special with the small world bottles, maybe exhibit them before throwing them in. However, it feels like I have hung on to them for too long already, and so I am planning to put in all of the bottles I currently have. So hopefully tomorrow I’ll put in the last three bottles I still have. – Then it’ll be time for new bottles!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas!

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Me, throwing in the Christmas Bottles

Message in a Bottle No. 85

Small Worlds – The Chair.

Small World - Apple Trees (No. 82)

Small Worlds – Apple Trees

Message in a Bottle No. 72 (Take 2)

Small Worlds – The Bed

 

Two Dispatches in Frankfurt/Main

two hospital rooms in the making for my current book art work “346”

It has been a bit quiet here in the past weeks, and admittedly, it has been a little quiet in my studio regarding messages in bottles. As always there are several reasons for this: My children were not in school for 5 weeks during the summer. In that time I had very little time that I could spent in my studio and thus I didn’t have much time making new bottles. At the same time, because we just bought a house among other reasons we didn’t go on a holiday where I could have dispatched bottles, and thus I still have a couple here – which I would like to dispatch but maybe not in the river Trent as that hasn’t proofed a good idea so far.
And then: My bottles quite often were related to my other art work. Currently I am working on finishing a really big project. The title is “346”, and I have been working on it for about two and a half years and am finally in the finishing stage. Much of my efforts currently go in there, therefore.
In the picture above you see the start of the box that will go with two very special copies of the book. I am making miniatures for this box pretty much as we speak. – And you now can finally see how I came to make miniatures for bottles before: I was practicing and seeing what I could do. Or maybe it was the other way around, and I decided to really make such a book after I started making miniatures for bottles? Both of it is true, I guess.

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Bottle No. 77

While I have not made more bottles, or dispatched any, others worked for me, and the bottle above and the bottle below were put into the river Main at Frankfurt last Monday. More about this in a short while. This is just some kind of heads-up, I guess. And I wanted to put something here in case someone already found one of them! As always I am wishing for finders who like and appreciate the content. And I would be happy about some kind of contact and notification when they got found.

Message in a Bottle No. 84

bottle no. 84

Some of your might remember that I met with fellow message in a bottle writer Ina (bottled fortune) in Hamburg in May. Today I saw that there is a video online of someone who found one of her bottles. The video is in German. But I guess you can get the gist of it, even if you don’t understand what he is saying. Isn’t it great how speechless he gets when he sees her letter “uoa!”