Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Small Tin Boxes

In middle school, I thought I was pretty hot stuff walking around with my tiny tin container filled with watermelon flavored lip balm. Long after the balm was gone, I would keep the box. The small size, cute graphics, and slide cover were just too appealing to throw away. The same held true for candy tins, hinged Band-Aid boxes, and cookie tins. I just couldn't let them go. As I got older, I acquired a nice variety of old tin containers from my grandmother and found even more while on treasure hunts. Without even trying, I had built a collection over time.
Many of my tins came from my grandmother.
It's easy to justify accumulating tin containers. They're colorful, durable, and useful (even if you never actually refill them). They reveal a slice of the past and are living proof of how packaging has changed over time. I think that's why I couldn't resist buying an "IDEAL SPLIT SHOT" tin at the Elephants Trunk last year. Its compact size, happy colors, and hidden "Take a Boy Fishing" message on the back made it an irresistible purchase. I didn't even know what split shot was, but I took it home anyway. After bails were added to the back of the box, a complimenting buckle was found, and chains were coordinated, the piece evolved into one of my favorite multi-strand necklaces.
Ideal Split Shot
Since then I have been on the lookout for other small tins. Here is a piece called "A Fine Fineline." The tins once housed mechanical pencil erasers.
sliding tins
A Fine Fineline
Most recently, I've discovered sample-sized tins. Being so small, they lend themselves well to making jewelry and don't take up much space in my already crowded apartment.
a tin of tins
boxy beauties
Their graphics pack a lot of punch for their size. Sometimes the back is as interesting as the front.
on the flip side
One of the interesting challenges of working with tins is finding the ancient contents inside (with accompanying mysterious odors). 
goo yet to be gone
Once all ointments, salves, and undefinable residues are removed, you can use the boxes like a locket to house pictures, collages, mini-dioramas and all sorts of treasures.
Ray's Salve-ation, Miles of Style, and My Lips Are Sealed
A work in progress and the inside of "My Lips Are Sealed"

Good things really do come in small packages but it's the small packages themselves that I like the most!

Intrigued? Want to see more? Come visit me at these upcoming shows or visit my Etsy shop.

Saturday, July 9 - The Greenway Open Market - PREMIERE DAY! - Boston, MA

Sunday, July 10 - SOWA Open Market - Boston, MA

Saturday, August 6 - The Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA

Sunday, August 7 - SOWA Open Market - Boston, MA

Saturday, August 13 - The Greenway Open Market - Boston, MA

Sunday, August 14 - SOWA Open Market - Boston, MA

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