Miniature bookshelf


In August I will be participating in an exhibition of miniature works at the Gosford Regional Gallery with the Australian Society of Miniature Art. As there is a Japanese Garden attached to the gallery, the theme of the exhibition is anything related to Japan or Japanese gardens.

The prints I have been doing recently have had a Japanese feel to them, quite unintentionally, so I decided to make use of this and create a collection of small books out of some of the prints.

I decided to make the ‘books’ first, and keep them to around about the same size, then decide on a container of some sort later. Eventually the idea of a slatted bookshelf came to me.

I have made every element of this small sculpture – on the top shelf is a slip case filled with five small books. Inside each are pages made from tissue, with abstract images printed on them, three in an ochre colour, two a dull red. At a later stage I may add words to the pages, I am not sure yet. They are tied with paper string that can be fanned out a little. On the next shelf is a double concertina book, which is a concertina in which I have cut slits in the valleys between the pages and inserted another smaller concertina. This is pushed in tightly and so creates a spine as well as small pages within the book. This was then tied at top and bottom edges to hold it together. At the bottom is a folded box, and inside that are two small tissue concertinas attached to a base that can fold in half to be put in the box, or be opened out to make fan shapes.

The bookshelf was made from flat wooden strips, each about 20 cm long, 6 mm wide and 1 mm thick. They were brightly coloured so I painted them all black, then cut them to the lengths I needed, glued them to make the shelves and sides, then glued them together to make the whole object.

There is nothing really Japanese about any of this, it is just an impression or feeling, so I hope it will be accepted! I have done a miniature painting, and hopefully will have more artworks before the exhibition.

Below are pictures of the individual elements. The box is 15 cm high, 6 cm deep and 6 cm wide.

crate3web crate4web crate8webcrate5web crate7web

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

22 thoughts

  1. Anna, the collection is magic! I feel that it is VERY Japanese so your creation had jolly well better be accepted. The attention to detail is such a Japanese trait. Your work certainly speaks to me.


  2. What a great addition for housing your books. I really like the feeling of the open crate, being able to see the wee books inside. Somehow, I’ve missed seeing the mini slipcover. It’s Fabulous! Congrats on the upcoming show. Wish the world could come see it! 🙂


    1. Thanks Gale! I may have misunderstood what you are saying about the slipcover, but all of these are new, they are related to the previous pieces because I have used the same plates for the prints, although in different configurations, and these are all smaller too. And yes, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could come and see it. The exhibition should be very good, we have some amazing artists in the society, much better than me!


      1. Ah, now it makes more sense knowing these are NEW creations! I thought they were from your first experiments. So glad to see the work push you even farther!


        1. One downside of showing works online is the difficulty of giving a sense of scale – the other pieces were quite a bit bigger than these. One person commented on the Herbarium Stilt Book that at first she thought it was room-sized, and of course it is only 20 cm high. But it did make me think about doing something much bigger – you are the master of really big works, so know the difficulties and possibilities!


  3. Ooh what a lovely tiny *Japanese library shelf Anna ! So delicate – as Mary has commented.
    Kimono designs … hidden secrets of the Geisha … enclosed plant seeds …
    I hope you’ll post some photos of the Exhibition when the time comes 🙂


    1. Ah Poppy, I can always rely on you to come up with good words! I was racking my brain for a good title and had nothing … but ‘Hidden Secrets of the Geisha’ – that has got to be it! The exhibition isn’t till August, but I will try and put up some pics. I think I have a painting ready, but I’m not quite sure … thanks Poppy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m tickled pink 🙂 No matter if you change your mind though Anna ’tis sometime until August and your brain may well be racked by then .. in a good way of course 😀


  4. Well if Julie thinks it looks Japanese, I don’t think you could get the thumbs up from a better critic. I just love these and they are so Japanese to me. I like them all but the exploding, fragile bloom like books from the little carry case is my favourite. You really are very cleaver. Karen


    1. Thank you so much Karen! Yes, Julie is the perfect arbiter for all things Japanese – as I said to her, I didn’t want to be too literal, so I am really happy all the pieces come together with a Japanese feel! And yes, the little books in the case is my favourite bit too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes, there is a Zen feel to the books and the sculpture they live in…and so very intriguing because the entire piece works as a sculpture, but each book holds a intimate mystery. Love it! Well deserved congrats on the exhibition, as well!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s