Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sources of inspiration

Sometimes the Muse can strike from the most strange places...

It had been some time since I wanted to try and make a pharmacy/apothecary/laboratory supplies cabinet.

My husband is a scientist, and I can tell you, a messy table/bench is the last thing you need if you want your work to be successful; dirt can spoil many hours of work if you are dealing with cells, and a glass left in the wrong place can finish in the floor with all your precious DNA inside. So I am not very fond of cluttered furniture, not even when it is in miniature. That's why all my cabinets are so tidy - blame it on the hours that we had to spend in the lab when experiments don't come out OK. I figure that if tidiness is necessary in real scale, more so in the cabinet of a skilled witch or wizard. Think about the protocols that are described in magic books and that you have to follow to the last detail... Anyway, the idea of the mad scientist or Victorian chemist have been going around my head, but I was not sure about how to bring them to reality.

Yesterday I put on a CD that I had not listened to in a long time. It's from Attrition, and it's called "All mine enemys whispers". It is inspired by the story of Mary Ann Cotton, who was sentenced to death in 1873 for killing children with arsenic. Attrition's Martin Bowes is a descendant of the arresting officer, Police Sergeant Tom McCutcheon.

And then the vision stroke me! I saw a dark chemist in London, where this woman went to buy the poison; the unsuspected pharmacist who sold it to her; the neatness of the filled jars in the shelves...

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, Alexandria

Right now I am on the hunt for different kinds of glass jars to fill the cabinets, and I am already working on the labels, which will be, of course, reproduction of real vintage pharmacy labels.

I hope to have a new line of apothecary cabinets, parallel to the magic cabinets. Science is as much part of my world as it is fantasy. How contradictory the human race can be... Will you come with me on my journey?

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