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Cigar Box Purses

I take empty modern cigar boxes, destined for more mundane purposes or even the landfill. and design them into purses. Most boxes are imperfect to begin with. Sometimes, those imperfections remain in the finished piece. Lids may not close perfectly, angles may not be perfectly square. On occasion, there is still a soft, slight aroma of tobacco, which I think is lovely. Sometimes, a box will let me know in the creative process that it must remain a cigar box. Thus, you will see branding, labeling, and other allusions to late 19th or early 20th century tobacciana in those pieces. Others call out to be a modern box purse, or an elegant minaudiere.

I collect all manner of paper ephemera, shelf lace, German paper scraps, wallpaper, just about anything decorative from a bygone era. Nearly all of the purse handles are vintage, or "new old stock" from the 60s and 70s. I also make my own handles and embellish them with birds and flowers, and give them a final gilding of gold. Once in a while, a handle is so unique, it determines the design of the purse it will carry.


Below are some of my most recent creations. Many more older works can be found in the Portfolio.

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