Friday, February 26, 2010

Cruelty-free and DIY Wunderkammer

So, you're not too keen on having loads of dead animals and macabre animal parts around your house? Not a problem! I adore the idea of a cheeky, totally, blatantly fake cabinet of curiosities as well! There are all sorts of fantastical beasts awaiting classification.

Perhaps a Unibunny catches your eye?  Etsier girlsavage has all sorts of wickedly cute feltidermy like this little guy.

For other cheeky trophy heads, Cardboard Safari is awesome. We have a medium Buck in our library and it's quite the conversation piece.

The aptly named wondercabinet has a whole series of beautiful chimeras printed on book pages. This is my favorite, a koodoo/shell/flower creature.

These handmade ceramic skulls by mudpuppy are creepy but beautiful. These life-size specimens are popular for Halloween but I say keep them up year round! I especially love the gold tooth.

But what if you're more of the DIY persuasion yourself? Well, I personally tend to be more of the TIY-but-never-quite-DIY type (think it yourself which never quite translates into doing it yourself, ie my mind writes checks that my craftiness can't cash). But, I think there's a few simple projects that could definitely contribute to my cabinet.

I love this idea I saw on mer mag last month: Merrilee's husband made her an insect display by printing drawings of butterflies, beetles, and dragonflies on patterned paper. He then cut them out and pinned them into a hinged shadowbox. Genius! I would use this font to make my butterflies.

This nature walk mixed media piece by CoriKindred (as seen on poppytalk) inspires me to take a second look at all the pinecones in my yard. Hers is undeniably gorgeous, but I think I could put together something similar, maybe with typed labels to emphasize the "scientific" quality.

What about using some SunPrint paper to create gorgeous botanical cyanotypes ala early photographer Anna Atkins? That gorgeous blue negative is iconic in both photographic and botanical history.

In the end, I think your Wunderkammer should be about you and your adventures. While much of mine may be carefully hunted down in the giftshop and the wilds of Etsy rather than the Serengeti, many of the pieces still have personal resonances, which is definitely the best part.

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