The collector: Mia Monterisi, MA Graphic Design student, London.
The collection: Dice
The story behind the collection...
Collecting dice is something that I am really passionate about. My obsession started approximately 7 years ago and since then it hasn't stopped. In my collection you can find more than 200 dice of all sizes and materials - including wooden, plastic, paper even one made of the same stone that was used to build the White House in Washington DC.
The transparent ones are really interesting as you can see light coming through them and they produce really interesting effects when arranged in different ways.
When I moved from my hometown to the capital of Croatia, for my BA studies, I took my dice collection with me and displayed it on the top of a bookshelf. It was an ideal place because everyone could see them... although dusting the shelf was a time consuming process. I love them so much, every one of them is very special to me and so I didn’t really mind cleaning the shelf - even with more than 200 dice!
The collection has now moved with me to London, living in a big glass jar and so is displayed in one single place. I like to look at them and gain great hapiness from their 'explosion of colours'!
As I like to travel there are dice from all around the world in my collection. It's the fact that they are so colourful and that every one of them tells its own story (to me) that's what I like about them so much. I like their variety and their patterns too.
Other people, it seems, are most fascinated with the smallest ones because they cannot believe something so tiny can exist. The typical thing that most of them say is "Loooook at the tinnyyyyy oneeeessss! Oh my God they are soooo cute!"
My most recent design project is called 'Associations' and it utilizes my collection. I singled out 24 dice and showed them to a group of selected people. The aim was to find out how dice can induce different associations in people. In order to do that, 23 people were asked to write down the first association they have when they see a dice. The group chosen was very varied as they live in different countries (and even different continents)... they are from USA, India, Portugal, Brasil, Netherlands, Moldova, China, South Korea and Croatia and they have different careers (e.g. a lawyer, ceramic artist, graphic designer, land surveyer, civil engeneer, photographer, masseuse etc). They are all different ages too. As a result the findings are rather interesting because they revealed a lot about each individual's personality and the way that they think. The project has the potential to go much further still, revealing much more, if I were to collaborate with a psychologist. The people really had lots of fun being a part of this project and I gained much insight from it.
Also recently, I booked a photographic studio at my university to see if my collection has 'something extra' that I hadn't noticed about it before. Using photography I started to play more with lighting effects and different compositions. The transparent ones were a huge surprise for me because of the amazing effects they produced when placing one dice on top of another, mixing them and colliding their lighting effects together in order to create new colours.
These dice have brought me a lot of joy and so I plan to keep collecting them until they reach the ceiling!
All images © Mia Monterisi