thorn box raccoon skull mount.

https://squareup.com/market/anji-marth#category-ad9fa7b0-fed8-4a71-8879-bbd304e8c59c raccoon skull mount with sweetgum pods

For the creepy home, or those who have raccoon as their totem. Ready-to-hang.
This is a salvaged raccoon skull. I do not know how he died, as he is nature-found. He’s been cleaned, sanitized, and then stained and painted with oil pigment, and mounted firmly in a box filled with dried sweetgum pods, raccoon ribs, coyote teeth (humanely collected), and cornered by hog teeth and bird bones. Everything secured with cured bone glue.

he will ship in a well-protected box within a box.
The box is thin pine, backed with felt, signed on the reverse.

approximately 10×10″.

Published on: Jul 1, 2012

large articulation project: spider pig.

I worked on this today, with help from Hawkins.

It’s a commission for a friend; I was working on it before but they asked me to build a mount for them, and finishing this ended up fitting their concept perfectly. (I do have some things like this for sale, go here to buy those, or see them.)

All that’s left to do is seal it.

Pig skull, deer and coyote jaws, deer, dog, and badger bones- medical-grade gauze circa 1943, and oil paint.

I used bone glue, hot glue, twine, and adhesive plaster to construct it, and to make the joints solid.

It’s mounted on a square piece of maple plywood. It has taken me a few days of solid effort, and a few weeks of concept/articulation research, to make this one.  Hawkins helped assort and assemble the structure – having his mind on the project was extremely helpful.

More images after the jump.

 

Published on: Dec 7, 2011

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tender prey: rat spider skeletal articulation

rat skeleton spider taxidermy mount articulationrat skeleton spider taxidermy mount articulationrat skeleton spider taxidermy mount articulation

Published on: Mar 16, 2012

Dr. Seuss and childfree artists.


I am childfree, and do not feel comfortable around, nor interested in, kids.

They disturb my mind in many ways. I do not have interest in them.

I do however remain childlike as myself; my life is lived even now as a Ville Villekulla, a bright and giddy place full of friends and art and craft and fun, and freedom. I live now the way I dreamt I would live when I was a child. I have built the life of my youthful daydreams into reality around me like a coiled shell.

It satisfies me.

Dr. Seuss had little interest in children. He found them disturbing to his peace of mind, he stated that he was opposed to the population boom, and he rarely made time for children in his life. He and his wife had no children, didn’t want them.

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(Originally Published on: Oct 26, 2011)

He lived in his imaginary world IN REAL LIFE, and the cares and concerns and woes that a child requires would not allow those things to stand. So he stayed away from children, for the most part.

Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them both.””~Dr. Seuss

He did not enjoy the noise and commotion of children, and thought that perhaps if they were encouraged to use their minds and their imaginations instead of screeching and leaping around, they would become more capable and interesting adults one day.

“This book is to be read in bed.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Theodore Giessel was a very active man with unlimited skills in doggerel and inking strange creatures to fit. He was childfree- he had no children and wanted none.

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How to prepare specimens safely.

How to get the bones from animal remains you find that still have a bit of meat on them, and which are not dried out:

 Wear disposable gloves. Wild animals carry loads of diseases which you can in fact succumb to, such as rabies, flu, and even leprosy (YES, leprosy).

This is the low-investment method. You can also bury or macerate the remains to get the bones; but maggot cleaning will be less involved. You could get a beetle box, but maggot cleaning is less upkeep.

  • DO NOT BOIL OR SIMMER BONES. Cooked bones can and will ROT! Boiling breaks the fibers that hold bone together, making them brittle, and thinning them. Let nature do the work for you! (and keep the stink outside!)
  • Put them on a piece of window screen that is twice their size, and wrap them up in it. Fold over the edges to close it like a pocket, leaving a one inch opening on one end for flies and other insects to get in.
  • Hang the corpse-pocket up outside. You want it up out of reach of cats and dogs, but low enough that you can reach it. I hang remains from a tree limb near my house. You can also wrap the corpse this way and then bury it a foot deep or less. Either way, insects will do the cleaning for you. This will not work in winter though.
  • Wait a few weeks, less if it is hot/humid. check on your developments. at some point the bones will be fully exposed, and all meat will have been picked away by insects.
  • soak the bones in HOT water and blue Dawn dish detergent. Change out the water/detergent mix every day. It can cool off overnight, just use hot water to refill it each day. Use about two cups of Dawn per gallon of water. Do this until the bones are not yellowish with fat anymore.
  • Scrub the bones in cold water with more dish soap. Then soak again in HOT water, mixed 1:1 with regular old store-type peroxide. YOU DON’T NEED BLEACH; BLEACH WILL MAKE THE BONE CRUMBLY AND WEAK, AND SOFTEN IT. Peroxide and hot water will disinfect just as well, when used in conjunction with the soap soak. refill/continue soaking until the bone is as white as you’d like. I find that it usually takes three water changes to get the ivory-cream tone I prefer.
  • Dry the bones thoroughly, NOT IN THE SUN. Then spray, with a coat of matte UV protectant. Sun exposure, like bleach, degrades and weakens bone.
  • The best way to hang a skull is to string it on thick, soft twine through the orbital bones, then hang that on a hook on a mountboard. I like to attach the jaw as well, and pose and articulate bones- I’ll go over that stuff in a later post.

TEAL DEER: 

DON’T FUCKING BOIL OR BLEACH BONES! IT DESTROYS THEM!

How to disinfect feathers (legal ones- domestic and game birds)

Find out if they’re legal to own!

Wear disposable gloves.

Be especially cautious with feathers, because bird flu is an actual thing. So is west nile virus, salmonella, and more…

  • Figure out if it is a land or water bird. Water birds have oil in their feathers, land birds do not.
  • Figure out if the feather is legal to own or not. You can check the list here to find out.
  • Spray with alcohol (land bird) or tea tree oil, almond oil, or oil-based castile soap (water bird) and let dry.
  • Soak a paper towel with full-strength hand sanitizer, and wipe feather gently, in the direction of growth. Soak the feather well.
  • Tie a string to the base of the shaft and hang the feather, shaft up, overnight to dry out.
  • Using hot water, wipe the feather down again. Let dry. Use almond oil (water bird) or a damp cloth (land bird) to smooth the feather to shape it again. Again, let it dry completely.
  • Smooth out with your fingers to re-shape the feather and re-attach each strand of it.
  • To dye land-bird feathers, use translucent, lightfast inks (FW, or diluted liquid acrylics) and wipe ink onto feather surfaces in the pattern you want, or better yet, spray it on lightly. let it stand until the ink has dried, then wipe gently with a damp rag, using your fingers to smooth the surface and attach the strands.
  • To dye water bird feathers, use an oil paint, diluted with almond or walnut oil. Make sure to re-shape the feather several times during the drying period, or the strands will clump together.

TEAL DEER? MOST FEATHERS ARE ILLEGAL, DON’T BE A DUMBASS.

(you can find my work in these materials here or here)

originally written on: Aug 1, 2012
updated today

imagine enough werewolves!

Enough!

Enough!

CAM00987

werewolf cover-up in progress

bucket list tattoo!

bucket list tattoo! her first one.

I made something to wear around my neck that would match what I wear in my ears.

I made something to wear around my neck that would match what I wear in my ears.

and I stuck things in my hair.

and I stuck things in my hair.

New ear weights- these are AMAZING. Boar tusks and suede, with wood.

New ear weights- these are AMAZING. Boar tusks and suede, with wood.

around the shop

I came in way early (for me) today, and I had a little time to spare, so I took some pictures of things from around the shop.

It’s funny how every shop has its walls of sketches- one of my favorite things to do is look at everyone’s rough drawings.

some of my prints at the shop  (you can dig through them in person there if you're local)

some of my prints at the shop
(you can dig through them in person there if you’re local)

Pig skull tribal mount, hanging among its friends (she is also for sale)

Pig skull tribal mount, hanging among its friends
(she is also for sale)

Lisa's sketches

Lisa’s sketches hanging on her wall

hand-painting prints


Sometimes I feel like just making prints of a painting isn’t enough.

I feel like- man when I buy stuff, I buy prints because I like the artist but can’t afford a bigger piece- but I always feel like it’s not as good as an original. So I end up kind of going halfway sometimes, and painting over a print of my own work.

I’ll do the painting first.

I did this in watercolor and colored pencil on plain tinted paper,then painted over the prints with blood and white highlights.

If you plan to try this, make sure your original art has decent contrast and a solid area or three where detail or added color would add, rather than detract, from it.

further instructions after the break:

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the trio, bat taxidermy

taxidermied bats

Three taxidermy bats- two indonesian bats (chemically preserved) and one northwest bat, humanely collected, preserved with salt, disinfectant materials, and time, (completely mummified and sanitary) and mounted on a birch plaque with mouse and vole bones and preserved hawkmoths and cicada shells. All have been sanitized and dried completely, handled with care.

I adore bats. I think they’re amazing, beautiful creatures, and I have been donating to a few projects meant to combat white-nose fungus, which has been killing off bats across the Americas for a while now. It’s really sad because bats keep all insects in check, plus they are ADORABLE.

Ships nestled carefully in protective packaging, to the US only. $200 includes shipping, handling, tracking, and insurance (USPS)

Plaque is approximately 6×15″. Bats are mummified completely, all bones are sealed and odorless.

watermarking is a pain in the ass.

You need to watermark all of your art, all your tattoo pictures. Everything you post online. I need to remember to do this, too. I’m going through and watermarking some pictures, and just realized…well, if I already posted them someplace, then I’d have to go back through and replace them all, and then the links would no longer work or whatever, plus people have already saved them and now have no idea where they came from… I mean, watermarking isn’t HARD to do, it’s just hard to REMEMBER to do, every time I post something. I get too excited and I throw stuff up into the internet before I do it pretty often.

no watermark

no watermark

I also have a habit of losing original downsized images (for submissions online to magazines or whatever) and then I have to go back to the original scan and re-size it. I’ve had quite a few images or pieces of art get a ton of exposure, but most of those weren’t watermarked. I wish I could say I’ve learned from that and that I watermark everything now, but I still forget.

easy to cover or crop out, also ugly

easy to cover or crop out, also ugly

I try to put my watermark in a place where it’s difficult to crop out of the image, but doesn’t interfere with it. Some people or sites will still cover up this kind of watermark wit their own (THE ABSOLUTE BASTARDS) but for the most part it works. All I really care about is that if someone sees my art someplace they can then find me if they want to buy it.

hard to crop out without destroying the image subject, not too intrusive, readable. that's the right one.

hard to crop out without destroying the image subject, not too intrusive, readable. that’s the right one.

I use photoshop for watermarks, because I like them to be a bit transparent. But if I am truly lazy that day I just use paint. Either works. I love it when people share my work, no doubt. It just frustrates me that the work doesn’t always lead back to me. I get sad when I see art posted, someone asking “man that’s awesome who did that?” and the answer is “I dunno, I found it someplace and I don’t remember where” Watermarks are so that people remember where. Once you have a good watermark on a picture, you can relax a little. You can start getting happy and open about where people share the image, even about whether they download it and print a small picture of it. Because it’s got a recognizable name on it, it will lead anyone that sees it right back to you. And that’s the important thing when it comes to posting stuff online- that your art gets seen by lots of people. I mean, otherwise why post it? You want to share your work; you want people who would like your work to get to enjoy it and maybe talk to you about it or even buy some. So watermark everything! Now if only I can remember to follow my own advice.

 

 

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