Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Glimpse into my Collections

To my knowledge, I own more things than any person I know my age. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, I have moved eleven times in my adult life, and each move has required the purchasing of new furniture and what not. Inevitably things get confused between all the moves and needless to say I have four tea kettles, three cheese graters, fifty dish towels, a humidifier, a dehumidifier... you get the idea. Then there is also the matter that I am an interdisciplinary artist and craftsperson, and have just about every art + craft supply you can imagine. And then there is the art... oh, the woes of storing sculptures. However, I also have a lot of things because, well, I like things. I’m very tactical and garner a lot of pleasure from one-of-a-kind objects, particularly of the vintage assortment. Above is a collection I just started of old Air Mail envelopes.

As far back as I can remember I’ve been interested in collecting and organizing. As a child I collected “cool” cat posters, as a pre-teen I collected porcelain dolls, as a very awkward teenager I collected anything (and everything) Anime, and as an adult I have a few very specific vices. As I am always on the go and haven’t had a home of my own in a year and half to display my collectable goods I thought I would do a show & tell here. (Click on the images to see larger versions.)

I have quite a bit of Canadiana memorabilia from the 50’s to 80’s including many pieces from the Centennial, Expo 67 and the Montreal and Calgary Olympics. Though, currently my most prominent collection would have to be Queen Elizabeth II Coronation tins and other commemorative tins, trays and dishes from her Silver Jubilee and other royal visits to Canada. I do have a small assortment of older tins from other members of the royal family including George V, George VI and the Queen Mother. Next on my wish list is a commemorative tin (but I may have to settle for a chocolate or cigar box) of King Edward VIII, which are very rare because he was only King for eleven months and because most of his items are in more serious collections due to his affiliation with Nazi Germany. I love their colour palettes, design aesthetics and the histories behind them. The photos reflect about half the tins in of my collection. (Note the antique toy sewing machine is named “Little Queen”, adorable!)

When collecting, it’s important to me to have the whole experience. I don’t find it very satisfying to acquire something just because you can, so I don’t buy things online. (For this reason I don’t collect things that are common either, like bookmarks or rocks.) I sometimes shop at antique shops or markets but I prefer to go to flea markets because there’s nothing like the feeling of finding a diamond in the rough and bartering for a deal. Though if anybody wants to give me a Queen Elizabeth II tin, I promise I won’t object.


  1. Rocks are classic collecting items but not nearly as adventurous as Queen Elizabeth II tins!

  2. Where did you get the sock monkey? do you collect them as well?

  3. My sister got the sock monkey at a flea market in some small town in B.C, its actually pretty old. I do have a lot of sock monkeys, but its because I make them not collect them.

  4. So do you take orders for sock monkeys?

    How long does it take to make one?

    How much does it cost?