Alchemical Vessel #2

I am very fortunate to be a curator for this year’s Alchemical Vessel’s exhibit at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for healing + the arts in Washington, D.C.

This also makes my second year as a contributing artist. Below are the images on my take of the theme “The Night’s Journey.”

Here is the gallery postcard with the details (click for full size):

Printing Action Figures

Following up on the idea of making action figures and monsters from other toys, I have been experimenting with scanning my figures and then printing copies of them.

To start with, Leezle and I downloaded a MakerBot project from Thingverse.


We printed it.




Someone at Thingverse commented that it’s “Sad that it’s such a lo-poly model. :/” Still, it was a fun start.

Next, we scanned some of the cowboy figures I made.



We had a few false starts and bad scans – this is a time consuming process (noted by Leezle). My favorite 4 armed cowboy is red plastic, and it did not play well with the red laser scanner. I switched to blue, who is a rather lumpy. I’ve read that painting a figure white helps, but I’m not ready to sacrifice red to that (also, he’s currently living the March Madness Diorama).


After the scan was complete, I worked on cleaning up the figure in MeshMixer.




Raccoon Skeletons


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.


Inside the Egg (prototype)

To explore more delicate containers for my dioramas, I decided to try egg shells. I used a pin to poke holes in the top and bottom of an egg, and then used a screwdriver to make a larger hole at the bottom. I used the bulb of a turkey baster to push the contents of the egg out through the larger hole in the bottom.

I then bleached the inside of the egg and rinsed it with soap and water.



I used a dremel/engraving tool to make the hole(s), and then added the scene. I can light the egg from the hole at the bottom, too.





Narcissism and The Self-Portrait

This piece is for an exhibit at the Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh, New York.

When presented with the topic “Narcissism and The Self-Portrait,” my mind immediately went to how we present ourselves online. Selfies, dating apps profiles, Facebook updates and twitter feeds all present the our masks.

This is in a makeup compact that Jordan Faye Block gave to me. I like the compact’s layers and levels, and especially the mirror. It will be featured in her Small Wonder’s show, too.