Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dem Bones!

Starting the work on one of my cow skulls today! I'm thinking of incorporating a Dia di los Muertos theme to this guy~can't wait to see how this turns out! 

Now, for a little back story on HOW I came to have this and a few other bare-bones cow skulls...

Years ago whilst on a road trip through New Mexico, I happened on a roadside campground/rock shop so decided to, of course, stop in.  (Wouldn't you?).  Now, the old guy that ran this whole operation was toothless and wearing the most exquisite squash blossom necklace I ever saw out here in the middle of nowhere.  What I was really on the hunt for wasn't rocks and minerals, but cow skulls.  This was the last leg if my 2 week trip through the Southwest and I had been on the look out for cow skulls, which there was no shortage of, but they were extremely expensive! Even plain ones with No Artwork! So, I learned to never pass-up these little roadside stands, you never know what you'll find. As I was weaving my way through the rocks and dusty "Indian" trinkets (that have made in China stamped on the bottom) I spied some boney goodness along the fence line!  Making a beeline to what turned out to be not one but Eight awesome cow skulls I excitedly asked the toothless caretaker if they were for sale!  Of course they were For Sale and I took all of them! When I asked the guy why he had all of these skulls and how he got them he said that his property is next door to a cattle ranch-when they process the cattle, he gets the heads and leaves them out for the coyotes to "clean". So know this, all of these skulls were clean except for the noses! I drove 13 hours to go straight home with the windows down the whole way to dispel the Stink! The lengths I go to for my Art!  When I got my treasured skulls home, they were cleaned up in a powder coating machine because boiling on the stove doesn't work, just so you know.  They came out perfect and I did create on a few and kept the rest packed away. I decorated my garden with a couple that I had left, which I've decided to give a second life to!  Stay tuned for the finished product which will be revealed at Glitterfest this October 12th! 

This skull has been out in my garden for years, so I needed to clean him up a bit but didn't want to lose the awesome "patina" and natural "boneyness" that had developed over the years. After sanding the surface lightly (certain spots are thin and brittle) with a fine 150 grit sandpaper, my skull is nice and smooth and Awesome!

This shot is mid-process. The right is sanded and smooth, the left side, untouched. Big difference, so glad I decided to go this route and skip painting  it! Lovin' the look, now just have to decorate him for the season!

Wish I had more of these guys now that I have this cool idea! Maybe I need another Southwest Road trip!