While I was wondering how to translate this idea into a piece, I thought about the treasure box I keep under my bed, as I'm sure many people do, and about the way the objects in a collection like this represent their owner's individual memories. The collection as a whole is more than the sum of its parts too and also reflects the owner as a person.
In fact a person is like a treasure box - we are all treasure boxes! Together the box and its contents symbolise us as the keepers, and the product, of our memories. So here is my imagined 'Treasure Box'.
: a little Douglas fir cone and a larger Scots pine cone. My own treasure box has a cedar cone which is a reminder of a very long ago family picnic with my Grandma, during a sunny summer holiday. I thought that a fir cone might seem like a trivial thing, but in terms of memories represent something very significant.
: a dried corsage/buttonhole saved from a happy or romantic occasion - a wedding, or an important dance, maybe.
The box is reinforced with some stiff tapestry canvas, which I happened to have in exactly the right quantity, and is made from black velvet cut from a torn old favourite jacket. Sewing it all together was crucial to the idea but I did occasionally wonder why I was putting myself through this torture when it would just have been an awful lot easier to wrap fabric round a cardboard box!
For final decorative details I used cold tea to age the corsage (dipping in the carnations, and then putting some of the damp tea leaves on the fern and leaving to dry) and I used watercolour on the rosebud and shells, and to add shadows to the quilting on the fossil. It took a while to think about how to make each object but as the box and its contents symbolise a human being and their memories it felt very important to try to make everything look as precious as possible.