Waldeinsamkeit Tea Cup

  • When I was younger I used to go for walks in the woods with my family. My mother would always pick up a teaberry leaf and break it in half. She would hand it to me and I would smell the minty scent within the leaf. Now whenever I go into the woods I do the same thing. Even if I am alone, she is always there with me. It brings back memories of my childhood.
    Scent is the sense that is most associated with memory and thus, I chose to use the smell of the teaberry leaves in my project. The scent brings me back to a time when I was young and carefree. The scent relaxes me completely, which is a funny coincidence because teaberry leaves have been used as a pain reliever for years; it actually contains the natural chemical that is found in aspirin. With the teaberry leaves I decided to make a tea that would relax me from the fears that I associate with the forest.
    To make this tea I collected teaberry leaves, put them in dehydrator, ground them up and boiled them in water. I also made a tea cup (above) out of a log that I found in the woods, which contains a tea candle holder as the cup. It is best to have the tea in small amounts, so the size of the cup is perfect. I also used the laser cutter to put the German word for the feeling of being alone in the forest, Waldeinsamkeit, on the side of the cup.
    Over the duration of this project, what I was doing seemed to evolve as I worked on it. Throughout this course we focused mostly on the senses of sight and hearing. I wanted to create something that used more senses than just that. My original idea was to make a perfume; as much as I wanted to do that, I wanted to make something that appealed to more than just one's sense of smell. I wanted to appeal to taste, smell and touch, the three that we have not focused on. I did this because in order to get a complete experience, one must be able to experience it with all the senses. I think I was successful in doing so. One can taste the tea, and thus the flavors of the forest; one can smell the tea, and thus the scents of the forest; one can touch the log that I made the tea cup of and the teaberry leaves, and thus touch the forest. They can also see the components that went into it, and with a little help of their own they can create the sound of the forest - the crinkling of leaves, the gurgling of a stream, the sound when something hits a hollow log. With my project the forest can be experienced by all the senses.