Treasure Box workshop

I attended a wonderful workshop this morning with Lucy Roberts at Blaze.

Lucy creates fabulous ‘treasure boxes’, inspired by curiosity cabinets. The images she shared with us at the beginning of the workshop were very similar to the ideas I’ve been collecting on Pinterest over the last few months, which includes works by Lucy Roberts, Maissa Toulet, Peter Blake, Joseph Cornell, Guido Cecere, Katarina Rose, Mano Kellner, Claire Rosen and many others.

Workshop participants were asked to bring along a collection of small objects such as buttons, seeds, shells, toys, cigarette cards and stamps. As I went around my house gathering objects, I realised just how much I already owned that I could use in this project, collected previously for craft, display or teaching (or just because I’m a bit of a hoarder!). I’ve always loved collecting things and I enjoyed digging into my collections of shells, marbles, beads, buttons, toys and old craft kits (especially those from the older themed subscription boxes by Crafty Creatives). I seemed to have a lot of interesting brown objects, both natural and man-made, so I settled on this as my ‘theme’. I also then found an amazing magpie-worthy jar of broken jewellery in a charity shop yesterday!

The workshop was held in the lovely little shop, Blaze. We started off with tea and Lucy’s homemade chocolate chip cake before being provided with box frames, glue and a selection of little objects and ephemera to top up our own collections if needed. Lucy explained how she usually started with a ‘rule’, such as a colour theme, and began by creating the edges of the display before filling in the gaps in the middle.

It was very meditative spending two hours arranging and rearranging little objects and then glueing them all down.  By lunchtime, I had a finished treasure box of my own, which will go up in my living room tomorrow when the glue is completely dry.

My treasures included:

  • a cigarette card from a job lot on Ebay
  • Euros left over from my recent trip to Paris
  • shells and marbles from my childhood collections
  • a pendant from a necklace that I had as a young teenager
  • a birch heart, copper leaf pendant, cinnamon sticks, leaf buttons, piece of driftwood and wooden window charm from Craft Creatives subscription boxes
  • an owl pencil topper that I’ve had since I was a child (I can’t remember where from!)
  • gemstones and an ammonite from Bristol Museum shop
  • beads and pendants from cheap necklaces that I bought to take apart and reuse as individual beads and from craft kits
  • a pendant from yesterday’s charity shop jar of broken bits
  • an acorn and small pine cone that I found along the seafront
  • a stamp from a pack in W H Smith
  • a dice from my old teaching resources
  • beans from Lucy’s collection of assorted objects

I’ve already bought some more box frames ready to use up more of the oddments lying around my craft room. And I think everyone I know might be getting one of these for their next birthday present!

The same Pinterest board also inspired a configurations box that I made a few months ago.

It also reminded me of a card I made a few years ago for my brother’s wedding, which ended up as a sort of fabric collage – I’ll try to find a photo to add later in the week.

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