How to make a Griefcase

The process for making a Griefcase can be as simple or as complex as you want. The only real requirements are that you have a container with a handle for mobile deployment and that you have two separate areas: One for the sharing of drawings, and one for art materials. I took great care in assembling the materials for the first Griefcase, and you should probably do the same.

The Griefcase I made cost roughly $300 to make, with the costs split in half between the case and exterior, and the art tools. My guide for how to make a replica of this case is below.

ART TOOLS

Blackwing 12 colors Colored Pencils $19.95 

https://www.amazon.com/Blackwing-Colors/dp/B01M0U71TH

Senneleier oil pastels (12 introductory colors) $38.80

https://www.amazon.com/Sennelier-Pastel-Assorted-Colors-standard/dp/B0018C032E

Cretacolor Kneaded Eraser (2) ( $7.15 * 2) $14.30

https://www.amazon.com/Cretacolor-43220-Kneaded-Eraser/dp/B00L2E3RK8

Cretacolor Cleos Fine Art Graphite Pencil Set (6 Pencils) $13.21

https://www.amazon.com/Cretacolor-Cleos-Graphite-Pencil-Pencils/dp/B0057YYM1W

Strathmore Drawing Paper 400 series 8×10 x 3 ($2.35 x3) $7.05

https://www.amazon.com/Strathmore-400-Drawing-8×10-2-Pack/dp/B00U5D0M0A

Steadler Double Barrel Pencil Sharpener $4.09

https://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-Sharpener-Pencils-Colored-510/dp/B005DDJZVY

8 1/4” x 10 1/8” + Flap, Premium Crystal Clear Protective Closure Bags (100 Pieces) [PR108S] 8X10 Archival Sleeves $11.62

https://www.clearbags.com/8-1-4-x-10-1-8-premium-crystal-clear-protective-closure-bag-210×257-100-pieces-pr108s.html

Uhu Stic Gluestick $2.05

https://www.dickblick.com/products/uhu-stic-glue-sticks/

Kohree Real Wax Flameless LED Candles $19.99

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XPZJPY7/

CASE

Premium Plastic Alphabet Letter Stickers A to Z $7.95

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OQ18LO6/

Vintage Style Brown Wooden Suitcase with Leather Trim $42.63

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XX1TB93

Portable A4 File Box Transparent Plastic Box Office Supplies Holder $9.99

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XWCXMYB

Silkscreen for Case exterior $50

https://www.brandmarinade.com/

Foam for interior $20

https://www.famousfoam.com

Paper for Instructions $4.50

Paper Bag Card Stock 8.5″ x 11″

https://www.papersource.com/craft/paper-bag-card-stock-8-5-x-11-34344001.html

Lamination $8

https://www.copyworldinc.com/

White Silkscreen Ink $29.53

https://www.amazon.com/Speedball-004603-Fabric-Screen-Printing/dp/B00CPE74KS/

Disposable gloves $8

Artist and Craftsman Berkeley

Total:

$303.66

What’s in the Case?

The materials in the griefcase are mostly dry media (drawing tools) and a gluestick for collaging. Three sketchbooks serve as the surface to draw on, and there are two electric candles for a warm experience.

Here is the full materials list, with links to purchase the items separately.

Blackwing 12 colors Colored Pencils $19.95

https://www.amazon.com/Blackwing-Colors/dp/B01M0U71TH

Senneleier oil pastels (12 introductory colors) $38.80

https://www.amazon.com/Sennelier-Pastel-Assorted-Colors-standard/dp/B0018C032E

Cretacolor Kneaded Eraser (2) ( $7.15 * 2) $14.30

https://www.amazon.com/Cretacolor-43220-Kneaded-Eraser/dp/B00L2E3RK8

Cretacolor Cleos Fine Art Graphite Pencil Set (6 Pencils) $13.21

https://www.amazon.com/Cretacolor-Cleos-Graphite-Pencil-Pencils/dp/B0057YYM1W

Strathmore Drawing Paper 400 series 8×10 x 3 ($2.35 x3) $7.05

https://www.amazon.com/Strathmore-400-Drawing-8×10-2-Pack/dp/B00U5D0M0A

Steadler Double Barrel Pencil Sharpener $4.09

https://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-Sharpener-Pencils-Colored-510/dp/B005DDJZVY

8 1/4” x 10 1/8” + Flap, Premium Crystal Clear Protective Closure Bags (100 Pieces) [PR108S] 8X10 Archival Sleeves $11.62

https://www.clearbags.com/8-1-4-x-10-1-8-premium-crystal-clear-protective-closure-bag-210×257-100-pieces-pr108s.html

Uhu Stic Gluestick $2.05

https://www.dickblick.com/products/uhu-stic-glue-sticks/

Kohree Real Wax Flameless LED Candles $19.99

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XPZJPY7/

 

Finished the case!

FInished just in time for Dia De Los Muertos! This was my only individual project for The Mechanisms in Urban Engagement class at CCA. It’s called Griefcase, and it’s a way for making art related to grief, and sharing it through a shared folder which acts as a mechanism connecting the individual artist to other expressions made using the case.

The project spanned five weeks and involved rigorous investigation, user testing, and expansive interviews. I learned so much connecting with grief groups in the East Bay, conversations with Art Therapists and Psychologists, and participants in the field.

I was deeply moved by the sharing of experiences from close friends who chose to be the first users of the case. I have concluded initial research and it will be ready for use next week. If you want to use the case feel free to contact me.

I’m looking for a first round set of twenty individuals to start the case art archive. After these initial creative works, the case will operate in it’s intended use, whereby making a work and adding to the case, the participant will take an artwork to keep as their own, making the case self-regulating and a living expression of shared experiences.