For years, I’ve been bringing dead raccoons home to bury them in a makeshift pet cemetery. It is a nice thing to do for them, and it provides a safe way for me to interact with them.
I recently started a new taxidermy experiment. I’m not so interested in stuffing them at this point (although I would love to own some stuffed raccoons), but I AM interested in their bones.
Instead of burying them and reclaiming the bones later, I am trying a new approach, which is to keep them in a cage above ground until they fully decompose.
The photo below is from a few weeks ago. Living in such a rural place has been a big advantage. There is a sad abundance of dead raccoons, and the nearest neighbors are far enough away that smell hasn’t been an issue.
I introduced meal worms to the bodies shown above. Once the bones are exposed, I’ll put them in a box with more meal worms, as they are supposed to rapidly clean the bones. My cage has successfully frustrated visiting vultures and other critters.
I will make 3D scans of my clean bones. I’ll process those scans into .stl files, which I can then print using a MakerBot or similar (as I do with action figures).
I’ll have new, plastic skeletons to use in my work. They can be armatures, charters or sculptures.
Ô Mort, vieux capitaine, il est temps! levons l’ancre!
Ce pays nous ennuie, ô Mort! Appareillons!
Oh Death, old Captain, time to make our trip!
This country bores us, Death! Let’s get away!
~Voyaging, Charles Baudelaire
The Land of the Dead is completely surrounded by the Dead Sea. There is no escape that way. Once past the choppy waters of the dead fishermen, there is nothing but miles and miles of doldrums in every direction. And, even if were possible to get past that infinite length to the far distant shores, one would only find the Land of the Dead. Because, the Dead Sea only reaches the shores of the Land of the Dead. The two call upon themselves, recursively, like two mirrors facing each other. The mirrors extend into infinity, but only take the viewer to one place. In this case, it’s a dead place.
And yet, every so often, someone still tries to escape. There are other things in the dead sea besides doldrums and lost treasure, as this fellow is about to find out. Watch my movie above to see…
Please click the image below to see the full size version. I drew this with the intention of adding bars to the cages (and I may still). It’s late, and I want to post it. Tuesday night is turning into my night to draw.