Ashes to Ashes

final

wip1

wip3

wip2

clergy

bound

funk-to-funky

ashes-to-ashes

This piece is made in a late grandfather’s violin (thank you Jeanne and luthier Susan Hopkins for helping me get it/open). This is in the current show at the Smith Healing Gallery in DC – details here. Without saying too much, I love string instruments that have f-holes. This particular violin echoes a coffin, and the figure of Pierrot is trying to make his way to the Land of the Dead. He is constrained by gold thread, held by clergy-like figures. He is also being pulled onward by silver thread, and is trapped between two worlds. I wonder about famous souls who were idolized during their lives (David Bowie, for example), and how the mass grief of a society might effect a transition to, say, the Land of the Dead.

Raccoon Skeletons

line-drawing

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.

big-fella

found

in-the-ground

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 stuff raccoons), but I AM interested in their bones.

reclaimed

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.

snow-white

cage-one

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.

in-the-cage

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.

Natural-History-Museum

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).

more-bones

I’ll have new, plastic skeletons to use in my work. They can be armatures, charters or sculptures.

for-sale

 

Death Salon – Mütter Museum

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I’m very excited to say that I’ll be part of The Dark Artisans’ Bazaar at this year’s Death Salon, which takes place at the Mütter Museum! I’ll have a table with a lot of art and some new surprises. The Death Salon will take place on October 5 & 6, 2015.

The Mütter is located at:
19 S 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

As of this writing, tickets are still available.

dsmmdarkartisansbazaarjpg

UPDATE, POST Salon

It was a big trip – the first time I’ve tried having a table somewhere. The introvert in me still enjoyed every moment.

the-table

At last, I had Caitlin Doughty write a haiku for me in my copy of Smoke Gets in your Eyes

caitlin

There were murder ballads at night. And lots of DEATH BANGS. And, speaking of which, I FINALLY got to have a real life, in person meeting with my pal and fellow Order member Sarah Troop (Nourishing Death and Death and the Maiden, etc.).

DEATH-BANGS

The museum itself is fascinating, as is the history of the founder. I had a private tour of the bone room and wet specimen room, and while it’s not a huge place, I want to go back and study the exhibits. There is a great Vesalius exhibit, the wall of 139 skulls and the Soap Lady. A huge amount to read and study.

mutter-windows

I love the talks, the people and the Museum. I am very grateful I had the chance to be a part of this.