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06 July 2014

Sentimental Gifts for the Traveller

A bespoke gift box by Parvum Opus
A bespoke gift box by Parvum Opus, jacketed in an Italian
wood-block print style paper by Rossi

Today, I'm delighted to share two recent and memorable commissions, courtesy of our thoughtful and generous clientele. Perhaps these will serve to inspire as we merrily make our way the summer graduation and wedding season. 

The first, seen above and below, is a bespoke box commissioned as a gift for a friend embarking on a long-term travel adventure. Before presenting it, our client filled the box with one hundred stamped post cards. I was struck by the simplicity and warmth of this gesture-- a beautiful invitation to keep in touch as her friend's adventure unfolds. The diminutive box, having travelled along, will make a charming souvenir long after the post cards have been sent, a reminder of the bonds of friendship. I admit that this project will be on my mind as my own friends and family set off on their own exploits!


A bespoke gift box by Parvum Opus


The next project is similarly adventure-related: this one is a travel escritoire, or traveller's writing set. Contained in the small hinged box are compartments for stationery, a small German Kaweco Sport fountain pen and refill cartridges, postage stamps, address labels, and a travel journal. Besides the requisite blank pages, the hand-sewn journal includes pages for recording addresses, birthdays and anniversaries. It also includes a map of world time zones and stellar constellation charts for the northern and southern hemispheres-- a must for every adventurer, wouldn't you agree?! Of course, all of these functions are easily replaced by the apps on most smart phones, but for many of us, hand-written notes in a paper journal make a denser, more romantic and memorable souvenir of a long trip than typed notes in a phone or laptop.  


A bespoke travel writing set  by Parvum Opus
A small traveller's writing set, made with a butterfly
and flower print paper made in Italy, also by Rossi.

This project was created for a client whose friend was off for a year-long sabbatical. The box is small and sturdy enough for travel, and is intended by the gift giver to act as a stand-in for a special writing desk that will be sorely missed during the long journey. Given the clear and imaginative directives from our client, I think it turned out beautifully, and can only imagine how lovely it would be to come in from a day's work in a far-away land, and sit down to write with such thoughtfully given tools at hand. 

A bespoke travel writing set  by Parvum Opus
The writing set as it appears when closed:
a clear elastic band holds the lid in place during travel.

A bespoke travel writing set  by Parvum Opus

Along with these projects, we have made countless traveller's picture frames and hand-bound journals for clients wishing to send a bit of home along with their loved ones, and we always enjoy these heart-warming collaborations. This sort of work is a great pleasure for us, and I hope that you'll be as inspired by these gestures of friendship and camaraderie as we have been.  

4 comments:

  1. Hello Erika, Today with travel becoming more and more cramped, regulated and uncomfortable, it is important to return to it some touches of ease, quality and even luxury, as exemplified by your beautiful travel sets.

    I can well imagine the tactile pleasure of holding these cases, constructed with the bookbinder's materials and art.
    --Jim

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  2. Dear Jim,
    Thank you for your message and kind words. I agree with you completely that a bit of home in a far away place makes all the difference and is completely worth the trouble... I always carry stationery, a couple of family photos and my favorite room fragrance spray! It was fun to be able to write about projects that represent the special bonds of friendship so beautifully!
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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  3. Dear Erika,

    Your new boxed sets are a handsome addition to the Parvum Opus collection. The second one, the writing set, reminds me of a leather and canvas folding desk that my grandfather used in Africa during World War II. It included a blotter, spaces for paper and a pen, and three photograph frames. There's something magical about bits of home that unfold in front of us when we're away.

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  4. Hello Mark!
    Thank you for your message. Your grandfather's travel desk sounds absolutely wonderful-- it must have been such a comfort to him during such a stressful time. I hope this precious family treasure has made its way to your home! I can't imagine a more appreciative steward for such a treasure. I wonder if the person who commissioned this set from me had an antique like your grandfather's set in mind....
    Warm regards,
    Erika

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