Wunderkammer crafter interview

On the Craft blog, Make staff editor Arwen O'Reilly interviews Jessica Polka about her cool wunderkammer inspired crafts.

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Arwen: What got you interested in making sea creatures?

Jessica: I have, for several years, been totally fascinated by the idea of a "wunderkammer," or cabinet of curiosity, which was the name given to the earliest of natural history collections. A wunderkammer was quite literally the most amazing, shocking, and befuddling specimens of the natural world -- real and imagined -- jammed together in a room or ornate display case. The viewer, I imagine, was supposed to get the sense that they were beholding all corners of the earth at once, in one glance -- sea shells (once a rarity) displayed next to preserved two-headed lambs, saintly relics, and "unicorn horns."

I got my mitts on a copy of Albertus Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, and it was only a matter of time before I made the connection between the beautiful red coral branches pictured in it and a few forlorn balls of red yarn I had earmarked for armwarmers.