James Ward has an unusual attachment to paper clips. And when he sees one, he sees, “It’s a work of art, but it’s also a useful work of art.”
And just like any serious art admirer, he’s also a collector. He showed correspondent Suysan Spencer variations on his collection of tens of thousands of paper clips, from classic designs… “owl” paper clips… to crossover clips.
The London-based writer has written a book on the subject of “Completion of Paper Clips”. Because he simply felt the need for the finished work. And at least one clip always has a tattoo on his left arm.
Its paper clip design is a so-called jewel, dating back more than a century. There were many different styles, but it was the jewelry that made Ward’s poet stand out.
“It’s a pretty beautiful thing,” he said. “It almost hints at some sort of eternity, but each end is somehow a kind of broken eternity.”
“Son, you’re reading a lot with paper clips!” Spencer laughed.
Forever or not, one thing is certain. Paper clips are an office staple that should not be confused with an office stapler.
Spencer asked, “As the world’s foremost authority on paperclips, if you had to give them one thought, what would it be?”
“Cheer them.” Ward replied. “Think, use, reflect.”
“Isn’t this more of a religious experience?”
Ward laughed. “It does its job and looks beautiful. It’s like, that’s all you can ask for in a design.”
For more information:
A story created by Amiel Weisfogel. Editor: Carol Ross.
More from Susan Spencer on the design: