The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Messages in paper boats

with 6 comments

messages in paper boats

messages in paper boats

I have been making paper boats, this started off by writing  little messages then folding them into boats and leaving them in the secret gallery for people to open out like fortune cookies! Not sure if many people did but our children loved them! A friend of mine commissioned me to make some as wedding gifts, so the last couple of days I have been experimenting and turning these flimsy boats into something a little bit more lasting but still delicate so I dipped them in melted bees wax and paraffin wax which gave them a slightly golden glow. (Take care if you are melting wax, as once I was melting wax and it boiled over and caught fire over a gas cooker, I ran out of the house with a child under each arm while James tackled the blaze! Luckily everything was ok!) They are also waterproof and ready to sail! I love the way wax makes paper look; the boats are almost transparent  and now the words are kind of sealed into them, but you can still read them, they emerge over time. I write using a pen and ink for drawing, and like to think of the drips and irregularities as adding freshness to the pieces. I believe that technology is really useful and important for many reasons, though I would never have said this before! But, the hand made and hand crafted, the hand written letters, I hope they will always be written, for they bring something to our lives that technology cannot replace. As well  as the messages, I have been using repeated words over and over, mantras such as: Love Laughter, Truth Trust, and Love Unity and writing them on the boats. I really enjoy the lightness of these little boats; turning something two dimensional into a hand held object. They can be flattened again. I like the idea of posting them to different destinations.

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Written by Marianne Slevin

27 August, 2008 at 10:04 am

6 Responses

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  1. hi guys, i love this idea of the paper boats! We are not married yet but its something i would love at my day. one friend of ours called Sky had his wedding on the Aran islands in March. it was so stormy that the priest and the musicians got left behind on the mainland, what a boat ride i will never forget it. but anyway, for his wedding he and his wife had gathered little pebbles from the beach and had hand painted each persons name on them and they were used as the place names for the dining table, it was so nice, each one had a symbol, i cantremember now but i think they wre like Runes. I saved mine and vivians for a long time but I dont know where they are now. In fact now that I think of it the only ring i am wearing these days is a silver band on my wedding finger with the rune symbols which my mother gave me before i went to australia….

    emily kelly

    28 August, 2008 at 10:55 pm

  2. Thank you for your lovely stories, they are really inspiring, thank you for taking the time to write them. They sound like they sound like perfect stories for the miracle box, if you would like to write them for it when we set up the page? I even see more strange coincidences or miracles connected to them, that we have not even written about yet ! Very cool! I would love to have them as part of this growing project. The other day after James had written his Noahs Arc post I made him a boat, but this boat said I love you I and want to be in your boat its a cool boat! Along with the Christy Moore song lyrics Life is an ocean and love is a boat. I think he sees the boats in a more possitive way now! I would be delighted to make you some boats for your day!

    Marianne Potterton

    29 August, 2008 at 8:03 am

  3. These are really sweet. My Papa and I used to write messages onto paper boats and sail them in the burn by his house. Not very waterproof of course, but fun!


    29 August, 2008 at 11:19 pm

  4. Thank you Kitty, sorry for not writting sooner. It is lovely to hear your story and that these little boats evoke happy memories for people.
    Thank you for writing,
    All the best, Marianne

    Marianne Potterton

    2 September, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  5. Hi,

    Have just found your blog and finding it really inspiring. I have only started my path on becoming an artist last year. IT has changed my life.

    Reading your blog shows me how afraid I am in my art and how I need to play with different materials and create just for pure joy.



    5 February, 2010 at 3:49 pm

  6. Hi Nicola,

    Thank you for your comment, I am so happy that you find the blog inspiring and that you are happily on your path being an artist, that is wonderful. I like what you said about creating for pure joy. I forget that too sometimes and have to catch myself when I get too serious!


    Marianne Slevin

    5 February, 2010 at 5:34 pm

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