There is something that emanates from my brain giving me the propensity to collect. I am the member of the segment of society that we’ll call the sorters/ categorizers. Not compulsive or a heavy burden, I actually enjoy that part of me. My collections are not limited to the concrete. I collect names, people I have met, and all sorts of historic facts, design elements, natural phenomenon, lyrics to songs, quotations….yes anything I can sort and categorize.
If you count all the abstract stuff in with the concrete stuff I collect it could be quite the mess but since I try to avoid clutter I keep it organized. Let’s take a concrete example, buttons. I love them because there a zillion of them made of a marvelous array of materials. Very few of them are actually costly even when they date back centuries, ideal for collecting. Here is where the limitations are put into place. I have focused on ONLY wood carved buttons that will fit in a birdbath. The birdbath is used as a side table with a glass in place for a surface. Through the glass you can view the buttons. Far from being to restrictive, the allowance for variation is wide. The elements of diversity include size, shape, color, type of wood, age, design etc. Nonetheless I like to add a layer of surprise, discovery that will break the rules or boundries I have created within the collection. In the case of the buttons I have include a nonbutton, a Japanese wood carved fish to swim in the bath of buttons, a Chinese printing block for a prescription medicine and a (horrors!) a metal button of a bird. Well, it is a birdbath after all.
What benefit is a hundred or so buttons in a birdbath in bungalow living room? To me they are attractive, interesting and tactile. If little kids come to visit I let them pick them up and rearrange them within their confines. Something I would not allow them to do, with say, my vases. And, yes, they remember the buttons.