Home-Made: Contemporary Russian Folk Artifacts by Vladimir Arkhipov (2006)
I randomly happened across this odd little gem of a book when it first appeared at the library in 2006. It continues to fascinate me to this day. The text from the back cover sums it up better than I can:
"This book contains highlights from Russian artist Vladimir Arkhipov's collection of unique artifacts. Objects made by ordinary Russians inspired by a lack of immediate access to manufactured goods during the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The archive includes hundreds of objects created with often idiosyncratic functional qualities made for both inside and outside the home, such as a tiny bathplug carefully fashioned from a boot heel; a back massager made from an old wooden abacus; a road sign used as a street cleaner's shovel; and a doormat made from beer bottle tops.
Featuring over 220 individual aftifacts of Soviet culture, each accompanied by a photograph of the creator, their story of how the object came about, its function and the materials used to create it."
- Submitted by Tom @ MPL Central