It seems the raccoon reversion therapy is working. I feel more like myself every day!
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):
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.
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.