The Obscure & Strange Findings of Curious Expeditions

The Obscure & Strange Findings of Curious Expeditions

Amy Azzarito
Apr 9, 2009

We've been armchair traveling lately. The images above are from our favorite wanderers, the Brooklyn-based couple of Curious Expeditions. Two years ago, video editors Dylan and Michelle quit their day jobs, packed it all up and moved to Budapest. Thinking that they might make a documentary about their passion for the obscure and strange relics found in dusty small museums, they set off to explore Eastern Europe and began writing about their findings. Now they're back in Brooklyn taking trips whenever possible and have discovered curiosities closer to home. The flowers above were from one favorite recent postings and were made by the same artists who crafted the sea creatures. Can you guess what they're made of?

Both the flowers and the sea creatures are made out of glass by the 19th century father and son team, master craftsmen Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf. The glass flowers were made for Harvard College, which still holds the more than than 3000 plant and flower models that were crafted by for their botany students. The Blaschkas had developed their reputation as superb glassmakers in their German hometown. Curious Expeditions saw the Blaschkas models of glass sea creatures at the Natural History Museum in Vienna, Austria, which had been created to offer a more life-like look at jellyfish and anemones; creatures that tend to lose their unique beauty in formaldehyde. The Blaschkas work is so precise that apparently many glassmaking artists who visit the Harvard Museum have no idea how the Blaschkas were able to accomplish such precision.

To see more curiosities uncovered by Curious Expeditions visit their blog or check out their well-organized Flickr feed. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait with us for that documentary!

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