Small Resources = Big Possibilities Matchbox Art

March 18, 2013

I recently accepted the creative challenge to transform an ordinary matchbox into some altered art for the Naropa Community Art Studio-International (NCAS-I)’s 2nd Annual Matchbox Art Auction Gala inspired by the theme Small Resources = Big Possibilities.

This event is an art-based fundraiser to help raise money for a group of art therapy students and their professors who will be traveling to Cambodia in May for a service learning project. Their team will be providing art therapy services with various organizations working with Cambodian women and children impacted by sex trafficking, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.  You can view some of the photos from last year’s trip and the 2012 team’s work here.

NCAS-I Small Resources = Big Possibilities Matchbox Art  Beginnings

NCAS-I Small Resources = Big Possibilities Matchbox Art Beginnings

Jessica Eves from the project’s Fundraising Committee sent me some basic materials for getting started: a matchbox of wooden matches in a muslin drawstring pouch, as well as a handmade paper bead, and a swatch of colorful fabric for some extra inspiration.

Playing with alcohol inks on my matchbox

Playing with alcohol inks on my matchbox

I started to do  a little creative brainstorming with some of my favorite mixed media materials: paper from my idea-ology stash, distressed ink, and discovered with delight that on the glossy parts of the matchbox, alcohol inks worked super well!

Fragment bits for  inside my matchbox

Fragment bits for inside my matchbox

For the inside of the box, I lined the bottom with some of the available wooden matches and then used distressed stain and metallic paint over them. I also collaged four square fragment bits to place inside the box, along with the paper bead.

"On Becoming" Matchbox Art

“On Becoming” Matchbox

On the outside of the box, I collaged this quote around its sides:

“And when that object is used to create a piece of art, it becomes a message for the future. A way to say,  “I was here.  I have something important to tell you.  Listen to me.” ~Lesley Riley

The top of the matchbox also includes another collaged fragment bit that inspired the title of this piece, “On Becoming”.

Check out some of the other matchbox altered art that will available at this year’s Art Auction Gala which will be held on April 12 at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.  Best wishes to NCAS-I for a creative, matchbox bidding night and for their trip & work this spring.  It’s great to be able to support their cause this way!

Interested in discovering more matchbox art inspiration?   Check out these resources and posts: (or add your own!)

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2 Responses to “Small Resources = Big Possibilities Matchbox Art”


  1. Super inspiring!! Looks like you had fun, as well 🙂


  2. Reblogged this on artevolutions and commented:
    This is a very inspiring project inside-out…Small resources do indeed have great potential for big possibilities! Beautiful touching work Gretchen and fab NCAS-I project!!!


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