New Bottles

Since my last blogpost I made 10 new bottles. Yes, I have been on a kind of spree, making many miniature houses using paper mache, something I work with anyway at the moment. Every time I was working on a batch of paper mache I also formed little geometric shapes, that I later turned into building by painting them – and some to even more complicated structures. See for yourself, here are my new bottles:

message and miniature in bottle no 105

Message in a Bottle No. 105

message and miniature in a bottle

Message in a Bottle No. 106

I am always looking for new ways to integrate my message. Can you spot it for these two? Well, I have to tell you that the first one is hidden in the same way, you can’t actually see it in the photo.

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 107

miniature and message in a bottle

message in a bottle titled “alien throne”

I titled this bottle “alien throne” – or what do you think this might be? Would you sit on it if you could?

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 109

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 110 with a picknick basket with blanket, apple and book

The miniature in message no. 110 is a bit recycled, I have to admit. If you have followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that I made a range of different baskets a while ago, and I still had this one. But the lawn is new…

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 111

Of course I had to keep using the new lawn…

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 112 – house on a cliff

miniature and message in a bottle

message no. 113 – tall house

miniatures and message in a bottle

message number 114 – abandoned high rise appartment blocks

miniature in bottle

Bottle No. 115 – underground pool

Bottle number 115 is the hardest to show! It has a structure in it, that I cut from a block of papermache with a dremel, and decorated. It is supposed to be an underwater pool… Well, you’ll see more of it if and when it gets found :-). And last but not least:

miniature in bottle

bottle no. 116 – obelisk

I am currently thinking about maybe planning (notice how careful I am here) an event that, if it indeed takes place, will be related to my messages in bottles. And so I want to make even some more, maybe of another type, not necessarily with miniatures in them. But we’ll see.

Later in the summer I am definitely planning a trip to the sea, maybe to the East (Lincolnshire or North Norfolk) or the West (somewhere in Wales or maybe Liverpool), or maybe to all these locations to drop my bottles in.

I am also thinking of maybe sending some of them abroad to be tossed where I have not tossed a bottle before ­čÖé If you would like to dispatch one of my bottles, maybe along with one of your own, please get into touch, and we’ll see whether and what we can arrange.

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New Bottles and Planned Drop Off Trent Bridge

Trent Bridge in Nottingham

I have dropped off a couple of bottles from Trent Bridge before, five, if my records are correct, and I never heard back from a single one. That’s why I have been hesitant to drop in more, although I just love that Bridge.

But coming Friday, I am going to give it another go.

Peter’s Bottle along with my three unsealed ones

From the Sheffield Drop Offs (Blog post part 1, part 2, part 3) I still have one of Peter‘s bottle waiting to be put into a body of water. Now that spring is filling England’s rivers, it seems like a good time to part with it.

I didn’t have any of my own left over, so I made a couple new ones this past week.

close-up of the teeny tiny houses I am going to put in the bottles

In my main part of work, I started to use paper mache more, and as usual, my messages in bottles reflect that.

I don’t think I’ll put all the bottles in, possible just one of them. – And that then would be the one with the folded paper boat. The letter in the bottle, btw, is suspended from the cork that will seal the bottle as to not disturb the scene inside. I hope the construction will survive!

More, once the bottles are sealed and on their way.

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.

Bottle No. 85: Small World – Woven Chair

Message in a Bottle No. 85 Woven Chair

Message in a Bottle No. 85 Woven Chair

There is the chair again, bottled, with a book as always in this small world series. If you take a close look, you can see that there is also a miniature pencil included. And I had a new idea where to put the accompaning letter: I hollowed out a bit in the cork, and put a – miniature – scroll with the text there. Because the writing is necessarily very small on the paper, I felt a little insecure about whether it stays readable, and so decided to write the web address of this blog onto the cork. – Not so sure about the look of that. Well, I really ought to “post” those bottles to see how they will hold up to water and waves.

I am just about to book flights to Hamburg in Mai. – Maybe I’ll drop them into the river Elbe after all. Or maybe just a couple? I’ll see.

Und hier ist der Esstischstuhl noch einmal, jetzt in seiner Flasche, verkorkt und versiegelt, wie ├╝blich in dieser Small World – Serie zusammen mit einem Minibuch. Eine neue Idee, wo ich den Beibrief unterbringen will hatte ich auch: Ich habe den Korken ein wenig ausgeh├Âhlt und dort eine kleine Schriftrolle untergebracht. Weil die Schrift darauf notwendigerweise so klein ist, habe ich auch nochmal mit schwarzem Permanentmarker die Webadresse dieses Blogs auf den Korken geschrieben. – Da bin ich mir nicht so sicher, ob mir das gef├Ąllt. Naja, ich sollte die Flaschen wirklich auf den Weg bringen, um zu sehen, wie sie Wind, Wetter und Wellen standhalten.

Ich bin gerade dabei, einen Flug nach Hamburg zu buchen, Mitte Mai. – Vielleicht schicke ich sie auf der Elbe auf die Reise, oder zumindest einige der Flaschen.

Making of Bottle No. 80 “Small Worlds – The Picknick”

baskets 01

Four out of seven baskets deemed good enough – I ended up choosing the one on the very left

Bottle number 80 has been my most elaborate yet. At first I learned how to make miniature baskets. Above you see some of the results. I decided to use only the basket to the very left. Then I dived into miniature food making with polymer clay.

Flasche Nummer 80 war bislang meine aufw├Ąndigste. Als erstes habe ich gelernt, wie man Miniature-K├Ârbe macht. Oben siehst du vier der sieben K├Ârbe, die ich gemacht habe. Da hie├č es dann nur noch ausw├Ąhlen – ich habe mich letztendlich f├╝r den Korb ganz links entschieden. Was ich mit dem Rest mache, wei├č ich noch nicht. Vielleicht mache ich demn├Ąchst nochmal einige Korb-Flaschenposten. Wie dem auch sei, als n├Ąchstes habe ich mich dann in Essen-Miniaturen und Polymer-Clay gest├╝rzt.

making miniature chocolate

making miniature chocolate to fit the size of the basket

mini chocolate 2

one of the first and larger chocolates

chocolates

next I experimented with wrappers: paper, aluminium foil, imitation gold leaf

apfel

miniature apple

miniature apples are formed from white-ish clay and then painted. That is much easier than first thought. The colours blend in the right way almost automatically. I made four.

picknick

first trials with creating a scene

Die Mini-├äpfel sind viel einfacher, als erwartet. Man formt den Apfel aus wei├čem Fimo und malt die Farbe dann drauf. Dabei verschimmen die Rot- und Gr├╝nt├Âne fast automatisch in der richtigen Weise.

dust cover

dust cover

Like all miniature worlds, this one has to contain a miniature book, of course, which I used to consider the main content (which I won’t give away before the bottle is found). However, looking at the effort that went into creating the scene, I might have to revise that view.

mini book klein

everything put together including the informing scroll giving my contact data

Here the book is complete and all the components are put together, including the scroll which I have written this time by hand – for a more personal touch but also so that it fits better within the small hollow I carved into a cork.

Hier ist das Buch schon fertig und mit allen anderen Teilen zusammengestellt.

No 80

shortly before sealing the bottle

Like usual I fixed the different components of the scene (i.e. glued them down), and only the book remained free moving. Glueing them down proved quite hard, though. I had little hope that it would withstand the motion of the sea, but hoped it would hold well enough until a possible dispatch.

Wie immer habe ich alle Teile abgesehen von dem Buch festgeklebt. Das war in diesem Fall wegen der Holzwolle und so aber gar nicht so einfach. Letztendlich sa├č alles recht locker, aber ich habe gehofft, es w├╝rde zumindest bis zum Abwurf alles so zusammenbleiben.

Fotoshoot in the garden

For the photos I put the bottle onto post that form part of the railing of our porch. Unfortunately, just aber two or so photos, the bottle slipped and fell. The bottle itself was unhurt, but the apples and the chocolate are now rolling freely inside the glass. – Well, not perfect, but acceptable, I guess.

F├╝r die Fotos, die ich von der verschlossenen Flasche machen wollte, habe ich sie auf einen Pfosten gestellt, der Teil des Gel├Ąnders an unserer Veranda ist. Ungl├╝cklicherweise ist sie dort nach nur 2 oder 3 Bildern runtergefallen. Der Flasche selbst ist nichts passiert, aber die ├äpfel und die Schokolade fliegen nun doch frei in der Flasche herum. Nunja, die Picknick – Szene ist nun also etwas unordentlicher geworden. Nicht sch├Ân, aber auch nicht katastrophal, denke ich.

May I introduce…

Message in A Bottle No. 79

Message in a Bottle No. 79 – “Small World: The Deckchair”

… my newest message in a bottle! Apparently I am caught in a miniature frenzy ­čÖé My usual letter is hidden in the base this time:

Darf ich vorstellen…? – Meine neueste Flaschenpost. Mich scheint das Miniaturenfieber gepackt zu haben ­čÖé Meine ├╝bliche Botschaft ist diesmal im Sockel versteckt:

005 kleiner

New Bottles (including a finished no. 74)

drei flaschenDie drei Flaschen warten gerade auf ihren Wachs├╝berzug, den letzten Schritt zum Verschlie├čen. Wie du sehen kannst, habe ich die Kofferflasche nun verschlossen (mehr dazu ein bisschen weiter unten), die in der Mitte mit der Biene ist die Flasche Nummer 72, die ich schon vor ein paar Tagen, zwischen dem “Bett” und dem “Koffer” gemacht habe, und heute morgen ist dann noch die ganz vorne dazu gekommen. Aber ich zeige sie einfach mal eine nach der anderen:

The above photo was taken this morning, with the latest three bottles waiting for their beeswax “cap” and final sealant. As you can see, I finished the suitcase bottle. More about that in a minute. First let me show you bottle number 73:

No 73

Message 73 of Project Message in a Bottle by H. Kurzke

I made this one without remembering to take a couple of photos while making it. Well, I wouldn’t have shown them now anyway, as you know. Just so much: the little box holds a surprise.

No. 74

Bottle 74 of Project Message in a Bottle, “Small World – The Suitcase” by H. Kurzke

Thank you for your responses when I asked whether you would prefer the items in the suitcase removable or not. Contrary to popular demand I glued them on (mostly). I decided to tie a band around the shirts and the pants like it might be added by a cleaning service, and then glued the ribbon, so that the garment (or rather, the piece of paper with a picture of a garment) theoretically still can be removed. The suitcase is glued to the carpet, the stack of shirts, too. Inside the suitcase the newspaper is glued to the upper half, a stack of trousers to the lower half, together with a tie and a belt which both cannot be removed from the suitcase. The book, however, is unattached, and can simply be taken out from the bottle.

While writing my last blogpost, I realized that I really wanted to have the control over all parts of the scene like only glueing down the elements will allow me. The main thing here is, after all, the book. And just like for the other bottles, the book is removable, while the other items and the scene are fixed.

flaschenpost no 074-09 making of kleiner

Making of Bottle Number 74, the moment I was dreading: putting glue on the leather

Yep, das ist Klebstoff auf dem Koffer. – Der Moment vor dem ich ein bisschen Bauchschmerzen hatte. Aber ich habe mich letztendlich doch entschieden, all die kleinen Dinge festzukleben. Danke f├╝r eure vielen Antworten! F├╝rs Kleben habe ich mich entschieden, weil ich einfach mehr Kontrolle ├╝ber das Aussehen der Szene haben wollte, als anders m├Âglich. Und letztendlich sind sie eben nicht die Hauptsache, sondern nur Requisiten, ich will eine B├╝hne schaffen f├╝r mein B├╝chlein. Bei einem gemalten Bild ist man auch nicht traurig, dass man den Koffer nicht vom Tisch heben kann.

Aber die vielstimmige Meinung, es w├Ąre doch sch├Ân, wenn man die Sachen entfernen k├Ânnte habe ich wenigstens ein bisschen ernst genommen: Statt die Hemden und Hosen festzukleben, habe ich ein Band um sie gelegt, wie es – so argumentierte ich zumindest mit mir selbst – auch in einer Reinigung umgelegt h├Ątte sein k├Ânnen. Und das habe ich dann festgeklebt. Aber der Schlips, die Zeitung und der G├╝rtel sind fest. Und nat├╝rlich der Koffer. Gerade wie bei meinen anderen Szenen ist das Buch das einzige, was man wirklich rausnehmen kann.

Unten nochmal ein letztes Bild vorm Verschlie├čen:

I didn’t mind at all when I glued the bed to the floor, why did I have problems with the suitcase?, I asked myself. Well, I guess in my mind, a suitcase is just more mobile than a bed, and so I hesitated to glue it, I guess. Also I liked how the lining looked like, and of course with the added small things, this is less visible. My apologies. But I found your view very interesting. I have a third “small world” planned, and now I am thinking of adding more removable items to that scene. I’ll see…

Here is one last view before I clsoed the bottle:

flaschenpost no 074-11 making of kleiner

Bottle No 74 Small World – The Suitcase by H. Kurzke before putting in the cork

No 75

Message number 75 from the Project Message in a Bottle by H. Kurzke

And above you see bottle number 75. I guess this one will be hard to distinguish from trash. I am curious to see whether it ever will get found.

Well, that’s it for today. Next week there will be one or two “German” dispatches, and if the weather plays nice, the first from an English beach might take place in two weeks. I’ll let you know more a little closer to the date!

Flasche Nummer 75 wird vermutlich schwierig von M├╝ll zu unterscheiden sein. Ich bin gespannt, ob ich von der eine Antwort bekommen werde.

So, und das war’s f├╝r heute. Ich habe vor, n├Ąchste Woche 3 Flaschen in deutsche Fl├╝sse zu werden, ich hoffe, das Wetter spielt mit! Und der erste Abwurf von einem englischen Strand k├Ânnte vielleicht schon am ersten Augustwochenende stattfinden. Mal schauen, wie das Wetter so mitmacht. Bis bald!