Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Coconut Shells

I remember seeing a medieval goblet in a museum somewhere. The stem and mounts were of precious metal, and the bowl was half a coconut shell....

To it's original owner the shell was a great rarity- something a sailor had brought back from the mystic East. It had cost him a lot of money. "Have you ever seen"- he said to his friends-" ever even imagined- a nut this big?" None of them had- and they envied him.

The sailor, of course, had picked it up on a beach that was littered with the things.

Value is something we ascribe to objects, it's not intrinsic, it comes and goes. Oil, for instance, had a value a few weeks back that it doesn't any longer because nobody's running the machines that require it. Perhaps the value will return. This I suppose is what they call "market economics". It's actually a deeply philosophical idea.

We have a lot of coconut shells. They came to us as containers of fatty bird food. You hang them from branches or whatever and the birds peck away at the contents. Our local birds get through them at the average of one a day.

What can we do with them? We looked at DIY videos online- in which people- represented only by their hands- turn coconut shells into less costly versions of the museum exhibit- chalices, goblets, bowls. It's fascinating to watch a craftsperson at work. First the hair has to be removed, then the surface has to be smoothed down, painted or varnished, then ornament added...

I could be doing that. It's not the sort of work that demands enormous skill- only a certain deftness in the fingers- plus patience- which I don't have.

I'll go an easier route. Break them up with a hammer- as another site recommends- and use them as fertiliser.
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