When I first mentioned to Chris the idea of reserving a corner of our home for a cabinet of curiosities he said, “it sounds like a romantic take on hoarding.”
In part, it is.
Originally called a “wunderkammer” or “curiosity cabinet” the highly curated collections of natural, art, and historical curiosities saw their rise during the Renaissance period. Over time evolving from collections admired in a cabinet in a corner of a room, to collections that filled an entire room, to cabinets that were a part of the founding collections of institutions, such as the British museum.
Much like the collections of the past, ours too will share a common theme: natural curiosities, specifically those found above the aquatic horizon. However, unlike most curiosity collections, ours won’t be harboured in a multi-compartmented cabinet or vitrine. Rather, thoughtfully arranged in a open-aired corner of a room, for our modest-sized apartment doesn’t welcome more. Here’s how we went about designing a corner of home that will continually be subject to editing and embellished upon in the years to come.
Step One: After defining your canvas with painter’s tape, using a circular object (we used a jar cover but in hindsight a discarded CD may work better) outline the object “point A” with a pencil.
Step Two: Three inches below Point A draw the same circle, “point B.”
Step Three: Divide three inches by two and find the halfway point between Point A and B to determine where to draw point C. The halfway point between A and B should intersect point C.
Step Four: Determine placement of point C and D by dividing the diameter of the circle by two. Repeat above to determine placement of subsequent circles.
Step Five: Drawings completed, place the circular object (jar cover/ CD) within markings and paint around all points up to edge of tape. So as to avoid dripping use minimal paint when painting around object’s edges.
Step Six: After paint has dried, remove tape.
Step Seven: Find center of each circle, place nail accordingly and hang sea urchins or sand-dollars.