A CABINET OF

 

CURIOUS PORTLAND 

 

 

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In the 18th Century Cabinets of Curiosities were collections of precious objects: fossils, shells, rare feathers, minerals, insects, precious stones, animals caught in amber . They were often used as a starting point for speculations on philosophy, science, natural history, and more.

 

In the 17th Century Robert Hooke was the first professional scientist as “Curator of Experiment” at the newly formed Royal Society.  He wanted to set up a national “repository” of such curiosities and his idea eventually became the British Museum. An ammonite of “prodigious bignesse” “dug out of a quarry in Portland” had pride of place in his collection. 

 

We would like you to create your own Cabinet of Portland Curiosities. Our cabinets may not be so grand, but they are just as important. 

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LET'S BEGIN BY...

Collecting some objects for your   

CABINET OF CURIOUS PORTLAND 

1. CHOOSE A WALK

 

We would like to invite you to take a walk on Portland.... so, choose a walk, any walk. This could be a short walk or a long walk, your favourite walk, a new walk, a walk on the beach, a walk amongst trees, a walk along the high street or even a walk along the road by your house.

You will need...

 

  • To dress for the weather!  

  • A small bag or container

  • Keen eyes

 Explore your surroundings closely. Look, really look. What can you see? What can you collect? Forage for objects that you find along your walk and collect them in your bag or container to take home. 

2. LAY OUT YOUR OBJECTS

You will need:

 

  • Your gathered objects and

  • A sheet of white paper (size depending on your collected objects)  

  • A pencil.

When you return home, place your objects on the paper. Take time to arrange them as you enjoy to. Maybe you want to organise or categorise them? Maybe you will find a composition that you like which is a bit more random or decorative. Your choice!

 

You could also use a pencil to label the objects with a note about what it is, where you found it, why you like it or why you chose it.

3. PHOTOGRAPH YOUR OBJECTS

You will need

  • A camera phone or other camera 

 

4. SEND US YOUR IMAGE

When you have finished, send us the image via the submission button to add to our Cabinet of Curious Portland. Keep an eye on the GALLERY to see your contribution. We can’t wait to see what you find! 

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TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL!

and create your own CABINET OF CURIOUS PORTLAND 

2. FIX YOUR TRAY

 

When you are happy with the final arrangement, use a combination of your glue gun/uhu and masking tape to fix them permanently. 

 

Use masking tape to seal any perforated edges and smooth over any gaps. 

3. PAPER MACHE YOUR TRAY

 

.Use PVA with your brush and parcel paper to paper mache over your tray and compartments. This will both strengthen and improve the finish of your cabinet. 

(Small pieces of paper work best, you can also water down the PVA to save on resources). 

 

4. LEAVE TO DRY 

Preferably somewhere warm

5. REINFORCE

Once dry you may want to fix any patches and give a final coat of undiluted PVA for an extra strong finish. Leave to dry thoroughly

 

6. FINISH

 

Once dried you may be happy with the brown finish. Alternatively, you could paint your cabinet a colour using any water-based paint. We’ve chosen white so that the objects really stand out against the background!

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You will need...

  • A large cardboard tray (shoe box lids or supermarket trays are ideal)

  • A selection of other smaller cardboard trays and/or other recycled thick cardboard (cut into strips the same width as the depth of your large tray)

  • A roll of masking tape

  • Brown parcel paper

  • Glue gun and glue sticks or UHU

  • PVA

  • An old paint brush to use with glue

 

 

1. CONSTRUCT YOUR TRAY

 

Begin with your large cardboard tray.

 

Use the smaller trays and strips of cardboard to create dividers and compartments. 

(You may want to first arrange your gathered objects inside to get an idea of how many compartments you will need and what size.)

 

You can fix your compartments and dividers in place temporarily using masking tape.

 

Oh and when you’re done don’t forget to send us a picture! 

Once you have taken a photo you can submit it.

We'd love to see it...