Tranklements – finding inspiration in everyday objects

By: Liz Berry

Exercises / Poetry / Using objects

Tranklements is a beautiful Black Country word which means trinkets or bits and bobs. In this exercise you’ll be exploring a tranklement using all of your senses and then lifting off on a flight of imagination. Start by creating a ‘Tranklements Box’, a box or bag filled with a selection of small items from around your home or garden. You might include items such as a feather, a brooch, a coffee cup, an ornament, an inkpen or a glove.

Now sit somewhere comfortable with your notebook and pen and set aside ten minutes. Close your eyes and put your hand into the box, drawing one item out. Keep your eyes closed and explore the item for a few minutes using your senses – how does the object feel, smell, what sounds (if any) does it make? Now open your eyes and, without pausing, write down your sensual impressions of the item. Record in any form you like and try to write in as much detail as possible. If the item draws your mind in other directions or sparks memories then follow its lead. Now answer the following questions about your tranklement…


  1. Who might have owed this object once upon a time?
  2. If you were to give this object to someone as a gift who would you give it to and why?
  3. What does your object dream of?
  4. A single word is going round in the mind of your object. What is it?


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