Monday, 26 September 2016

These Old Bones Will Tell Your Story

There's a goal on my list that I started (and due to the wording, technically completed) but never wrote about until now:
014. Start a collection of found objects
To me, a 'found object' isn't just any old piece of rubbish you might pick up. It's something that sparks an interest, evokes a memory, inspires creativity, or has a use.

Though some might look at the pictures here and think 'but that is rubbish, fair enough. It's all about perception! To me, the broken shards of glass and pottery prod at my imagination, causing me to ask questions--What was this? What did it contain? Who used it?
Then I find myself making up the answers: Here's a fragment of an old medicine bottle, used by a farmer to stave off a winter cold when he was tending his sheep. He left it behind one day and forgot where it was, and over time the bottle got smashed and the fragments scattered in the mud.

Of course, the truth is more likely to be that it was a bottle tossed away carelessly some fifty years ago and it ended up in the mud of the footpath when earth was moved to create said footpath.

But it's fun to imagine something different.

Alongside pottery shards and interesting pieces of metal, I've accumulated some paper-based finds, too!
A couple of these items - the old bus ticket (found in a second hand book) and the Egypt-themed playing card (found at a bus stop) - are items that have been knocking about for ages. The others are things I've found in the park or in the street, and have picked them up with a thought that they might be interesting for an assemblage (which is goal #15!)

I've picked up natural forms, too--a huge pine cone from a tree that has since been felled, a smaller cone from a different kind of tree; feathers and leaves with nice colours, and a little piece of sheep wool found on a pleasant walk in the countryside.

Most of my found objects live in an old shoe box under the bed (until I use some of them for that assemblage!)

But there are some that will live in their own box, until I find a way to display them--and at this point I'll add a warning: if you don't like the sight of animal bones, look away now.

No really.

Look away.

Still here?

Here's my most interesting find so far: 

I found these bird bones amongst some 40+ years of dust and muck in a boarded-up fireplace.
The chimney itself isn't blocked off, so obviously the poor creatures fell down a long time ago =/

Unfortunately I broke a number of the bones when cleaning the dust and fluff from them, and others started to disintergrate after I let them soak in biological washing water (following the advice on Jake's Bones!)

So what I have left is these:

There is still dust inside the skulls that seems to be welded in there, despite having left them to soak so long!
I'll probably put these in a little glass box, if I can find one. At the moment they live in a not so glamorous ice cream tub!

As my goal was to simply start a collection of found objects, I'm marking this one as complete.

If/when I happen upon some more cool finds, I'll write about them here!

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful goal - you found some really interesting things! So random & cool that you happened to discover an ancient Egyptian-themed card when you also have an interest in that period. :D
    Whilst it's sad that the birds were trapped in the chimney, I think it's great that you carefully cleaned the bones & are going to display the skeletons. You didn't kill them, nor are you being disrespectful to them, so I don't see the problem (not that it matters what I think anyway). Also, if they'd already been there for years, whatever scavengers that were feeding on them were already done with them so it's not as though you're taking their food either.

    I hope you manage to find a case that's suitably elegant for them :)