A few photos of me doing a public skinning of a casualty specimen Coyote as a part of my gallery talk for my Senior Thesis Exhibition that happened on April 7th at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. More photos of the exhibition to come! 

photos by the incredibly talented photographer, Catie Viox

sad coyote is sad. My first medium sized piece of taxidermy! (was actually finished before Aristide)

Still learning so there is lots of anatomy issues but I am just so happy it came together in the end. Was really trying to push the emotions in the face, turned out ok but I look forward to doing this again. Yay!

No one dissects to quicken his eye for, or his delight in, beauty. He dissects simply to increase his knowledge of how beautiful objects are put together to the end that he may be able to imitate them.
Thomas Eakins speaking (as a painter) about his practice and teaching of dissection

Aristide

Detail shots of this pretty doge’s visceral elegance in all its glory and gory detail, as promised. More pictures and the original post of Aristide can be seen here—->clickformoardeaddoge

Original concept by Emily Combs, a true mastermind in her ability to turn the visceral into something so beautiful that you can’t look away. Her illustrations are to die for, please check them out.

As for our doge child here, Aristide, just a few shots of the wonderful lace cuffs made by Emily. Ribbon corset binds the skin of the back between the vertebrae. The form is entirely custom, hand carved. The skin and bones come from two different coyotes, both were road kill, found and processed by yours truly.

Hopefully Emily will post pictures of her original drawing, someone go over to her tumblr and demand that she stop hoarding all those magnificent illustrations all to herself.

Aristide

A collaboration with the lovely Emily Combs.

A sculpture based off of her incredibly imaginative and beautiful drawings. Check out her amazing work here——-> click me tho
That is an actual coyote head and spine. A corset of ribbon binds the skin on her back between each vertebrae, along with lace cuffs made by Emily. Both coyotes used in this sculpture were road kill.

This was accompanied in a gallery space by my drawings, Emily’s illustrations, and poetry by the amazingly talented writer, Sam McCormick .

I have made another post with some detail shots of this pretty doge’s visceral elegance in all its glory and gory detail. Check that post out here——->prettypawsanddoggyclaws

Here is the last bunch of the Minumental pieces for the Art Academy of Cincinnati which could be no larger than TWO INCHES in any direction. Wee little things.

Here we have a casualty specimen mouse that was donated to me. A beta fish that was a pet of mine who passed away a year ago (RIP Mr. McFeeley). And a Starling which was donated to me. The jaw bones came in owl pellets sent to me by toxicpuppys :) That is a TINY rodent jaw there at the top of the plaque and believe it or not it has all its teeth! All the plaques are handmade by me from Redwood. Had so much fun doing all these, I can’t wait until next year

Detail shots of the other pieces can be seen in the previous post HERE

There is a juried art show at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where current students, faculty/staff, and former graduates may enter up to eight pieces, each one no more than TWO INCHES in any direction… the show is cleverly named Minumentals

They get nearly a thousand submissions to the show and the range of artwork that artists are capable of within a two inch cube is just incredible.

This year I entered 8 wee little dead things on teenie wee little plaques. The plaques are all handmade from redwood and the skulls were graciously sent to me by toxicpuppys :) The moth and butterfly wings are also real - one from the US and one from Peru.


Check out the teeny weenie taxidermy I submitted to this show and a group shot of all eight pieces HERE

wolftea

Anonymous asked:

You a sick bitch... Do you seriously just go around picking up road kill?! Your house must smell grosss.

wolftea answered:

ah yes, 
I am more than understanding of your perspective…. i see reactions and hear reactions similar to this quite often, some of my family is still growing accustom to my work.

The aspect that tends to be a bit irksome is the jumping to assumption and harsh tones merely because it is not something you understand. 
I know it seems gross and alien to most outside viewers, but likewise… i do not understand the hobbies or actions of others  ( spray tanning to name one? ) … but that does not mean i approach them with a sharp tongue and conjured assumptions….
to each their own…. 

I am more than happy to have a legitimate conversation with an opposing view or answer and clarify assumptions…. but only if there is a level of maturity….. 
juvenile name calling tends to sink on the lower side of that spectrum. 



 

I think she handled that just perfectly :)

It always bothers me that when some people hear we deal with road kill they immediately think we are bringing home the most vile rotting corpse. You know we too have standards. YES some road kill smells. But guess what? We don’t bring it home! And if we do - not only do we know how to handle it properly but it is to be processed for bones and it’s kept outside, likely buried, far far away from any guest who god forbid might complain my house reeks of road kill (which I will never allow to be the case). I have brought many casualty specimen into my home for skinning and dissection, ALL of which were road kill, and not a single person would know it by the smell (or any other aspect for that matter).  

Artists who work with road kill are not out of our minds. We are not unhygienic. In most cases we probably know how to clean up better then most (and do so more often!). It is possible to work in such an art and not be repulsive to those who don’t.

In most cases animals hit and killed by cars are either left on the side of the road to rot or they are put into a dumpster to be taken to the landfill for a less than proper burial underneath thousands of pounds of our garbage. Before I even got into this work I saw it as giving new life to animals who have been wrongfully but unavoidably killed. And now that I am doing this kind of work I know that is the case, and it truly makes me happy knowing at the very least I can appreciate the existence of this once living creature. Animals hit going 70 miles per hour are likely killed instantly. But what of the animals hit going just 20 or 30 (or less)? How many injured animals scamper off into the woods after their back end is slammed into by a two ton vehicle, only to die shortly after alone and scared? These are living animals. Can anyone justify why they’ve been killed? Yet we refuse to look at them. The bone and guts we see scattered on the roadside are nearly identical to our own. I do not do the work I do to get people to stop hitting animals with their cars. Unfortunately, and sadly, it is inevitable. But I do the work I do because we have become so unwilling to look at the effect we have on the world we live in. We as a people are disgusted by road kill. In choosing to ignore road kill because it’s ‘gross’ we are choosing to forget that we ourselves are animals. We are fragile. We are beautifully constructed so that we may consciously enjoy this life we so often take for granted. 

Some aspects of working with road kill may be gross to you. But those of us who do it, do it because we are so passionate about why we do it. And if you’ve read this far I thank you for taking a moment to learn why I do it.

Now go forth and learn about the world and even if you yourself wouldn’t do something, just take a moment to learn why someone else does and respect their passions in life. <3

Watching the Master at work.

It’s always so enlightening getting to experience Jeremy Johnson of Meddling With Nature do a personal dissection of his known. Not for a crowd. Not for a class. Not for any kind of promise of money or fame, not even for the camera. Simply for the knowledge. For the discovery. For the understanding. This is a man who spends his days passionatley studying anatomy, as hands on as you can get, so that he may know what is in the body. He reads about it, yes, the man has certainly read his share of both ancient and modern texts on the anatomy of both humans and animals alike (and not so alike). But to him there is so much more then that. There is so much to learn from dissection. And there are so many specimen on the roadsides (sadly) available to any one of us who may be interested at learning something a book can not possibly teach.

Upon finishing his dissection he removed the entire organ system from tongue all the way to the anus and every single thing in between keeping it all perfectly intact. He was so astounded by the brilliant colors and the marvelous state of the oragn systems (despite this coyote having been hit and killed by a car) and he quickly rushed the whole thing out of the room. Now I have skinned my share of animals and having learned to do this from Jeremy himself I too am in the habit of dissecting a bit afterwards as to not just throw the body out and let everything go to waste. But I have never looked at these organs as a single system, like a machine. A beautiful machine. Not until minutes later when he walked back into the room after cleaning all the organs and removing any unwanted blood and he stood in the doorway holding an absolutely beautiful bundle of glimmering brilliant organs unlike any I had seen before. The whole thing made so perfectly to work for years and years, designed to do so without flaw (for the most part) and with just the most minimal upkeep. All this…

..And we never see it.

Many of us refuse to see it. Unless it’s a part of our favorite television series, or a plot twist in that new blockbuster film…anatomy like this is more often then not the last thing people care about. But it is what keeps us alive. Aside from the orientation and placement of each organ, what you see here is what is inside you right at this very moment. 

Stop for a moment to feel your heartbeat. Feel your lungs rise and fall. It’s these very same organs, these very same machines, that make it possible for you to exist. 

And if there is one thing this man has taught me is that it’s beautiful. 

And seeing it like this, truly seeing it, how can one ever forget how beautiful the gift of life truly is.