Int Studio 2: Bridge #2: Cabinet of Curiosities

First Idea

  1. Suitcase
  2. Evil eye
  3. Chocolate milk
  4. Buoy
  5. Linden
  6. Ice skates
  7. Ski poles
  8. Turtle
  9. Little dipper
  10. Brush
  11. Tofu
  12. Lavender

Final Idea

Each plant has a very special place in my heart, especially the way they interacted with my 5 senses in my memories.

  1. Linden: Reminds me of home but specifically the cozy feeling of home on a cold winter’s night. I always think of my throat hurting or feeling cold and my mom or grandma offering me linden tea with some lemon and honey.
  2. Lavender: Reminds me of my best friend. There was a sachet of lavender in every room and she even carried around a lavender cologne with her because of how significant that scent was to her.
  3. Lemon: Reminds me of Turkish kolonya which essentially a very traditional liquid form of hand sanitizer. It has a very strong scent of lemon. It is a very integral part of Turkish culture so I strongly associate it with my country.
  4. Cherry (switched with Kumquats): Remind me of my childhood home. We had a cherry tree in our front yard and we would always pick cherries from it when they became red. We also had a potted kumquat tree right in front of our back door and it also reminds me of my mother because it was right outside her office and she was obsessed with the fruit.
  5. Chamomile: Reminds me of my grandma and her friends. I used to have very blonde hair to the point it was white almost. Over the summer it would get lighter so my grandmother’s friend would call me her “papatya” chamomile. It became my nickname in that side of the family.
  6. Fig: Remind me of summer and our summer house. We have fig trees in our summer house and when we’re there, it’s our favorite delicacy. We pick them from the trees every summer and those trees have a very distinct place in my head because their leaves are very sappy so they intrigued me when I was a kid.
  7. Tea Leaves: Reminds me of Turkey and breakfast. Turkish people are avid tea drinkers. We drink it morning, afternoon and night. It’s always tea time in Turkey. Tea is also a very hospitable drink because you often offer tea when people visit.
  8. Pine: Reminds me of high school. I went to a high school in California and it was on top of the mountains in a forest so we had pine trees surrounding us 24/7. That’s why the scent of pine and the sight of pine cones always make me think of there.
  9. Rose: Reminds me of my mom and our house. After my mom moved to California, she became obsessed with gardening and roses are her favorite thing to plant. She won’t stop talking about them and tends to them everyday. They line the path from the front gate to the front door so they’re the first thing you see when you arrive at the house.
  10. Mulberry: Reminds me of my childhood home. We had a mulberry tree in the front yard as well. However unlike cherries, it’s not their sight that reminds me of home but the smell.
  11. Bougainvillea (switched with Peppercorn): Reminds me of our summer house, Cesme and summer. We spend our summers in an Aegean city of Turkey called Cesme and it has been that way since I was a baby. Cesme is a very special place in my heart and in this place, bougainvilleas are scattered all over the place so it’s hard not to think of Cesme when I see them. Pepper trees are harder to find but in our summer house we have a huge one at the entrance and it always sheds peppercorns on the ground.
  12. Olives: Reminds me of Turkey and our summer house. In Turkey, we eat olives every breakfast. Needless to say, I love them. We have a lot of olive trees too and we had two in our summer house. When I was a kid playing house, I would always collect the olives that fell on the ground and would pretend to make food with them. We also had a hammock in between them which holds a lot of memories.

My Reflection

I started this project off by making a list of potential themes I could surround my objects on. Eventually, I decided to base them around childhood memories. I came up with 12 objects that I think of when I think about very specific memories and people. However, no matter how relevant they were to my memories, my objects didn’t seem cohesive enough for me. The more I thought about my memories, I realized that I often think of plants alongside these memories which instantly inspired to make my cabinet out of plants.

Thanks to the project guidelines paper, I already had an aesthetic I wanted to pursue which was a more scientific route. I thought this also went well the whole plant theme so I went with it. Since we didn’t have much time, I bought 12 identical crates which I put together and stained to create a cabinet. I found 12 identical glass jars that resembled test tubes and also fit the crates to put the plants in. I already had tea leaves, linden and peppercorns but for the rest, I scavenged all of New York City. For the pines, I went to Central Park and looked around for small pine cones and leaves. For the roses and lavender, I went to a florist. For the chamomile and mulberries, I went to a Turkish store in Queens. For the lemons, kumquats, figs and olives, I went to a grocery store near my dorm. However, I did search for both cherries and bougainvilleas to no avail so I had to substitute them with kumquats and peppercorns. Nevertheless, I was really happy with how it all turned out.

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