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!

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.