Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Treasure Box for Sheldon

Dear Friends,
Sheldon and I were apart all summer while I was in Europe and he was in Wheaton. One day he told me in an email that he really missed being at my house. He cares a lot about the atmosphere of living spaces. I think it comes from his artistic nature that he cares so much about space.

That gave me the idea to preserve artefacts from my house and bring them back for him. That way he could have a memory or reminder of what it is like to be there. I was inspired by several things for this project.

The first source of inspiration was an exhibition about the Enlightenment. I spent an hour at this exhibition in the British Museum. The Enlightenment was from about 1680 to 1820. It was a time in which people had a voracious desire to explore art, human culture, science and land. They wanted to know more than they ever had before.

Scientists would go on expeditions to places few Westerners had gone. They would come back with boxes filled with tiny drawers. In each drawer would be a labelled sample of a different kind of sea-shell. They were collectors who were dead set upon cataloging and preserving information. They also wanted to give the folks back home a way to visualise the inaccessible lands.

The second source of inspiration was Sheldon himself. He loves insects. When I first met him he told me about his beetle collection. The second or third time I met him he showed me the collection. He held up each bug and gushed over each detail. You can see why I fell in love with him!

He loves to collect things. Sometimes they are things of beauty like acorns and shimmering bird feathers. Sometimes they are things other people consider trash like rusty hunks of metal or cedar bark. His living spaces are always filled with fascinating objects. I get inspired to create when I am in his room or studio.

In order to make my Enlightenment box I used an empty chocolate box. I lined it with stiff paper. I created cells in the box by glueing strips of paper into circles and then glueing them to the sides of the box. I filled each cell with cream coloured sheep's wool to act at padding. Then I went around the house to find artefacts. I placed one artefact into each cell and dabbed a tiny bit of glue so it wouldn't fall out.

These are the artefacts that I chose in order to help Sheldon experience my home and the Czech Republic without his being there:

1. Coffee Beans - My family are hopelessly caffeine and coffee addicted. 
2. Piece of Chalk - Czech school chalk is square not round. It reminds me of my school days.
3. Piece of Bark 
4. Beer Bottle Cap - Czech beer is wonderful.
5. A Hex Nut - My weird collection is hex nuts.
6. Unidentified Piece of Nature
7. Shard of Polish Pottery - My mother's kitchen is filled with this pottery. Sheldon loves it. 
8. Clothes Pin - We dry a lot of clothes on a line outside at my house. 
9. Thistle
10. Bobby Pin - These turn up all over the house. I am always losing them.
11. Marble - My mother has a large collection on display in our house. 
12. Tram Ticket 
13. Fern
14. Blueberry Twig - In the mountains where I live there are lots of blueberries. 
15. Another Random Nature Thing 
16. Fake Flower -  This fell off of a crucifix on the side of the road near my house. 


  1. You're amazing, Lucy. This is beautiful, and what a treasured gift to give to Sheldon!

    1. Thank you, Claire. I had so much fun making this. It felt like something I would have done in middle school. It was just nice ot relax and make something not useful or for a class.