Friday, April 26, 2013

Petrified Poison Orange

One day at work I discovered a forgotten orange hiding behind my monitor.  I don’t make a habit of losing fruit in odd places, but I’d assume most fruits left to their own devises would get gross and moldy.  This orange was perfectly dried, which I found fascinating because I’m easily amused.  So I kept it in a little box, with other strange curios.  All it needed to come back into the light was a jar and a backstory. 
That’s where Genuine Artifacts comes in, purveyor of historical oddities.  They are based out of Yalgoo, Australia.  Yalgoo means “place of blood”. [Other sources differ, but in this case I think “place of blood” sounds better for business.]

Without further ado I present to you the Petrified Poison Orange.  This relic dates back to the 16th century when the poisoned orange was commonly used in spells. Then in the early 1700’s it quickly fell out of favor when poison apples came into vogue for the upper class witch.
The label is glued to cereal box cardboard for structure.  I used a textured canning jar, with an area of smooth glass for affixing labels.  In this case it serves as a viewing window.  Spanish moss provides a nice cushion and the lid is aged with acrylic paints. 
These days I do occasionally dry fruits on purpose and I find on top of the fridge is the most convenient place to do so.  It’s a warm, dry area and as a bonus items are up out of the way, since they can take weeks to completely dry. I've had good success so far with oranges, limes and shrunken head apples. For whole fruits make sure they are free of dirt, mold, soft spots and the surface is dry.  Rotate them once in while and check for mold.  Since the shrunken heads are peeled, I check them daily for the first two weeks until most of the moisture is gone. If you do get a little surface mold, just wiping it off with white vinegar should do the trick, but if anything goes soft it needs to be tossed.

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