And By Itself And

Forget about celebrity couple nicknames like Brangelina or Bennifer, we think it's time to celebrate the &! Our ampersand paper sculptures are gorgeous by themselves or combined with other letters.

A large customised & is a great wedding gift which can be personalised to represent something that the couple have in common such as:

-The place where they met or got engaged

-Where they live

-Their wedding location or honeymoon destination

-Their wedding song (contact us first to make sure we can find it!)

-Mutual hobbies or interests (tell us a bit about them and we'll see what kind of papers and pictures we have available)

The ampersand symbol is a combination of the letters "et", the Latin word for "and".  Its use can be traced back as far as Roman times. The word "ampersand" comes from the phrase "and per se and " meaning"and by itself and". You can debate whose name goes first in a couple: ladies first (Elizabeth & Darcy), leading man (Romeo & Juliet), in order of rank (Victora & Albert) or alphabetical order (Cathy & Heathcliff) but, whichever you decide, that ampersand in the middle is the perfect symbol for tying the knot.

Prices start at €50 for a large, 14.5cm, customised ampersand (but we can make smaller ones too). All of our map art and paper sculptures are presented in gift boxes, ready to give.

Where the heart is....

Our latest creation from the studio is our Bespoke Map Papercut. This personalised treasure map can show the location and coordinates of a special place anywhere in the world. It's the perfect gift to celebrate an engagement, wedding, anniversary or the arrival of a new baby.

Each unique piece is made with an original map from our collection of old maps and atlases. The raised heart shows a town, city or area, and the cut-out coordinates give an exact location within the heart. It could be the place where someone was born, where a couple met or married, or where they live.

You can either give us the exact latitude and longitude or tell us an address and let us find the coordinates for you. We can also add name(s) and date below the map if you wish.

The Bespoke Map Papercut is available in the Little White Dog shop

We'll need to know:

-Location for the heart (e.g. town, city or place anywhere in the world)

-Coordinates for a specific location within the heart or an address/landmark

-(optional) Date and/or name(s) to be handwritten below the map (e.g. "Tom & Mary" and "24th July 1972"

Crafting Type 8-12th March 2012

Suzie's work is featured in an exhibition entitled Crafting Type at The Factory, Barrow Street, Dublin from March 8th-12th. The exhibition, curated by Orlaith Ross, "will cross the craft and design divide by exploring the craftsmanship of some of Ireland’s finest visual creatives".  Not to be missed if you are a fan of typography and beautifully crafted design!

Momentous Mementos

What do you do with all those used tickets, maps and flyers you pick up on your holidays? They might look just like scraps of paper, but each one is a little reminder of a perfect sunny day, a delicious meal, a private joke or getting utterly lost and accidentally finding a hidden gem. Rather than packing them away in a box, or even throwing them away, you could display them in your home as a reminder of carefree days and sunnier climes.This is the story of a paper sculpture made from mementos of a year-long globe-trotting adventure...

Occasionally I receive emails from customers asking if I would make letters out of their own maps. I've created quite a few sculptures this way and they've always turned out really well, so when I received a message from Shanna asking if I could make letters from "maps and other scraps of paper" I had no hesitation in saying yes.

In September 2007, Shanna and her husband Derek set out on a trip that would last 366 days, visiting 40 countries in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. Shanna's idea was to make HOME with each letter representing one of the four continents they visited. I asked her to send me her maps and mementos, at least enough to cover one A3 size page per letter, with removable sticky notes indicating the important places and information on each one.

Within a couple of weeks a very exciting package arrive at the Little White Dog studio! When I opened it up I found four neat stacks of maps and tickets with all the relevant bits marked, ranked in order of importance and clipped together. Taking each stack in turn, I spread them out in order and photographed them as a reference in case things got mixed up on my desk.

In addition to maps there were entrance passes for world heritage sites, pages from theatre programs, transport tickets, business cards and printed napkins. Some of them even had little highlights and notes that Shanna and Derek had made while they were there. With so many pieces to assemble there was a lot of overlapping so the sticky notes showing the important bits of each memento were vital. They helped me to make sure that I didn't inadvertently cut out something significant, and since Shanna had ranked them in order of importance I knew which pieces to prioritise.

It became clear that the medium size (10cm high) letters mightn't be large enough to do justice to all the great mementos, so I consulted Shanna and she was happy to go for large (14.5cm) letters instead. The difference between the two sizes doesn't sound like a lot but the large letters are also wider and deeper, giving me a lot more surface area to use.

The result was a truly personal, one-of-a-kind, three dimensional story! I've seen how excited and emotional people get when they receive map letters showing their home place, so I can only imagine how Derek reacted when he opened this Christmas gift from Shanna, full of memories of their amazing journey.

You can read about Shanna & Derek's travels and see some of their 12,912 photos on their blog 'One Year on Earth' here. It's one of the most comprehensive travel blogs I've seen and is well worth a look if you're planning a big trip (or even if you're just in search of some escapism in the form of a virtual holiday for a little while!).

Take a look at our new studio...

We've moved into our new Little White Dog HQ and we're absolutely loving the extra space to work in (Suzie) and to roll around on the floor (Milo).There's still a bit of confusion about who is supposed to be sitting at the desk and who is supposed to be sitting under it but I'm sure we'll work it out!

Visit our contact page to make an appointment for a studio visit if you'd like to have a chat about some customised letters or to collect something you've ordered.

You can even get Milo to email directions to you!