here’s a photogram of my paper clip collection. yes. i collect paper clips. i’m sure i have mentioned this collection numerous times before. and yes i made this photogram—in a dark room. they still exist for my pleasure.
paper clips. a perfect collection for new york city. they don’t take up much room and they are pretty cool. i have written about this collection before, in that, when i attend paper fairs, i look at old documents hoping to discover a paper clip that i don’t have. there are many different shapes and if you look carefully you will see no two like. 48 distinct shapes. the majority are pretty old. they have names like: the niagara, the gem, the eureka, the banjo clip, the owl clip. don’t you just love it. i learned more about my collection when linda sullivan, a professor of design at byu, gave me a copy of henry petroski’s evolution of useful things. there is a chapter on the paper clip and i just loved it. such a simple object with such a history. petroski tells how paper clips were worn as a sign of defiance. cool, right. the book is worth reading. i personally just love the different shapes and the notion or idea that this simple form merits such refinement. it works for me and i am thrilled when i discover a shape i have never seen before. i thought the best way to display my collection was in the form of a photogram. the last time i was in a dark room was in grad school, twenty five years ago. quite a while ago. wow a generation in fact. my daughter came along and actually kept things going when i would got too obsessive. nice to have a level headed person around. an amazing fact about new york is that there is just about everything for everyone. i went to this great brooklyn studio where theo, the owner, had prepared a proper darkroom for me and my daughter. the chemicals mixed. proper instruction and everything in it’s place. we spent the next three hours getting the right density of black and making several compositions. at twenty bucks an hour it was well worth it. spending three hours with your daughter and doing something cool. a wonderful memory. she added a great deal to the experience and what a wonderful result it is. i put one of the photograms in my show but this particular one did not make it. the one that did is gridded and shows a more taxonomy-like approach to the clips. happily, gladly, surprisingly someone bought it. how about that. my show ends on the tenth of december do stop by.