In March, I had gone to Philadelphia to work at the Penn Museum for one month, in order to 3D scan a collection. The coronavirus had been spreading, but it hadn’t gotten to the point of total panic yet in Europe and North America (at least in my circle). However, a week into my contract, things changed drastically and quickly, and every morning I would wake up to a new damage report. Luckily, I had a friend in Philly who was living down the street from me, but I still did not want to be stuck in the USA, and I especially did not want to get sick there. I started working at double speed, trying to get as much done as I could incase I was no longer able.
Two weeks into my contract, the museum shut down, I frantically changed my flight (thanks to Aer Lingus’ Twitter customer service) and flew home on St. Patrick’s Day. With a DIY mask made from tape and a surgical dressing, I took the two flights back to Leiden. Thanks to some very helpful friends, I started my 14 day quarantine.
As a way to occupy this time, keep creative, and continue improving my modelling skills, I started Isolation Creations, a concept inspired by some very talented artists on Instagram. I built a digital diary of sorts by 3D modelling items (sometimes loosely) significant to my time during lockdown. It has become my ‘3D museum of random items found around the house during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
I- Vintage chocolate tin
Edmondson’s Liverpool Famous Toffee & Delicious Chocolates. Unfortunately, the chocolates were long gone.
II- Toilet Paper
There will be a lot of things I will remember of this time, but the fact that the was a global shortage of toilet paper due to stockpiling will remain one of the weirdest.
III- Garden Remains
I had spent one weekend gardening as a distraction, to enjoy the sun while confined at home, and to thank my friends for letting me quarantine at their house. This model came from the remains of a hydrangea bush that I pruned to make room for the new blossoms. Plants are difficult to scan because there is so much movement and underlying surface area, but I love the mesh and texture it creates.
IV: Social Distancing
This day’s creation was a very random object found around the house. Based on one of the Dutch Government’s restrictions on the fight against this virus, no social gatherings were permitted until at least June 1st, 2020. As I write this now nearing July, restrictions have eased significantly in the Netherlands, and I have been able to see friends, but the 1.5 meter distance rule rightly still applies.
V- Garden Remains II
This was another attempt at 3D scanning botanicals. These require more post-processing than other materials, which I usually do using Meshlab.
VI- Food Delivery
This little toy truck served as good reminder of how thankful we all are for those working hard to keep grocery stores running, and for delivering to those unable to leave their houses. A year ago, I never would have thought I would be wearing a face mask at the grocery store, or wiping down all my groceries with alcohol wipes.
This day’s creation represented one of my favourite things- coffee. It was also an indicator that I came out of the 14-day quarantine and returned back home to my partner (who makes the best coffee). We had made the decision before I returned from Philly that it would be unsafe to quarantine in a small apartment, risking getting the other sick. Luckily, I never contracted the virus, but better safe than sorry!
This model symbolized my present and future. This pocket knife was a gift from Leiden University at my graduation ceremony. I was really lucky to have been able to attend my ceremony in February, and have my family fly over to attend as well. Although the coronavirus was a very real threat in many parts of the world already, it had yet to enter our minds how much would change in the weeks following.
When I originally uploaded this model, I was very uncertain about what the future was going to bring, considering the economy and job market will be poor when this is all over. Writing this now, I’m excited to be starting out in my freelance career, and am looking forward to all the opportunities this may bring.
I was definitely starting to run out of ideas for this.
This is one of many trowels I have owned and has served me well on multiple excavations. Some dirt is still caked on! Luckily the blade is well worn, and not so shiny anymore, making the scanning much easier.
XI- Travel Souvenirs
This modern replica Phoenician glass vessel was gifted to me in 2018 by a coworker when we were both working as archaeological illustrators in Israel. I sometimes use it to practice drawing, while I wait for the time when I can get back in the field, see more beautiful places, and study their material culture.
I bought this diary at a little book store in Santorini (there were cats napping among the books and I loved every second of being there). It has mostly served as a travel journal, but sometimes I use it to document other significant moments. I haven’t gotten around to writing about my experiences during this pandemic, but eventually I will so that I have something to look back on later. Until then, this 3D diary will serve.