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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / New Specimen: Pygmy Land Walrus on: May 14, 2011 12:22:54 AM

Here is my newest specimen from my project, The Marcus Kelli Collection

Photographs by Ren Dodge

If anyone is interested how I made him:
I made a wood structure that I wrapped paper towels around to get the rough shape, then I use masking tape to wrap around the paper towels to hold them all together. Then I paper mache over the tape and use melted beeswax and cut faux fur with a bit of paint for the fur (in a nutshell)
the whiskers are made from the ends of a broom!

here is my old post where I explain the Marcus Kelli Collection a bit better
And my website if anyone's interested

Thanks for looking! C&C welcome!
2  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Winter Wonders- More specimens from the Marcus Kelli Collection (LOTS OF PICS) on: January 18, 2011 09:56:19 AM

SO I have a really awesome boss who let me have an art show in the Ice Cream Shop where I work. Each of the bell Jars have a little tag with writting on it, and I thought I'd include those too! This is somewhat of a looong post but thanks for checking it out!

Here are some installation shots:

An assemblage of Marcus' ephemera and little nature bits

I actually sold the deer!

I made these trees out of books to help fill up the space, this one is from Jack London's Call of the Wild.
Detail w/ "knothole"
This one is A Cristmas Carol by dickens in it's entirety (including the illustrations)

Here are the specimen jars. I made the wood bases out of left over bits of black walnut (with the help of a jigsaw, belt sander, and router at my old schools woodshop where I worked) The bell jars are hand blown glass that I assisted in making- my old college was awesome and had a glass department! There are also Marcus Kelli field note excerpts for each one. (not that I expect you to read them all! lol)

Kelli's Scout Mantis
This mantis secretes a sticky fluid over most of its body, allowing it to secure itself to nearly any surface. Not only does this allow the scout mantis to live in high up/hard to reach places, but also creates a foul taste for predators. Im very excited about this discovery
-Marcus Kelli
Early Field Notes

Long Tail Mice
 I observed the mouse lay his tail near the opening of the burrow. He very curiously sat there for quite some time with the tip of his tail exposed from the burrow. The tail must be a tool to sense predators that come too near the burrow entrance, for when a curious fox sniffed at the hole a cloud of dirt rose from the burrow and he was momentarily blinded- then scuttled off annoyed. The mouse was apparently not worth the effort
-Marcus Kelli
Field Notes

Eastern Mountain Bird
This is a curious creature. Never before have I seen any animal, let alone a bird, with the mythical third eye. I found him this morning at the bottom of a very tall tree. The beast appears to have fallen, and without any apparent wings to guide him, he did not reach the ground safely. He must have used his bulbous legs to have climbed such a height.
-Marcus Kelli
Field Notes

Snow Moths
The snow moths are beautiful to watch. They flutter softly around each other, staying in tight groups of five to ten. They seem to be a favorite food of sparrows in the area. The birds swoop and lunge at them but they find safety in numbers, often confusing the birds by scattering and regrouping.
-Marcus Kelli
Field Notes

Freshwater Pygmy Whale
Up stream from the delta mouth I saw my little whale again today. At first I thought my eyes had been playing tricks on me, but the sighting today confirms its existence. It swam around, curling and uncurling its tail to propel its self it quick bursts in and out of rock crevices. Its beak like mouth seems covered in a baleen substance that it scraped along the rocks, loosening the algae from its hold and making it easier to for him to inhale his supper
-Marcus Kelli
Field Notes

The Nesting Dimi
New specimen collected- I shall name it a Dimi for its diminutive stature. It is barely the size of my thumb, with a thick mane of hair on its back. There is what appears to be a clutch of eggs nested in the fur. As far as I can tell the Dimi is a mammal. I have seen them in (very) small herds with young, but I have never been able to find a nesting site until now!  -right under my nose
-Marcus Kelli
Field Notes

Here is the "statement" for the show which was installed inside the large wooden pedestal in the upper photos:

"Welcome to Winter Wonders
An excerpt from The Marcus Kelli Collection

This installment of the Marcus Kelli collection focuses on specimens observed to thrive in harsh winter climates in regards to the winters we all face and overcome.  Here you will find the creative ways in which these animals worked to survive.
These specimens were observed, captured and mounted by the Naturalist Marcus Kelli. He discovered many specimens unknown to science as he followed the principles of Naturalism. He searched places many of his professional colleges disregarded, and thus vowed to always regard himself as an amateur, as to never overlook anything.  He artfully studied the natural world, and his sensitivity and attention to detail shows in his extensive collection of curious specimens.

The Naturalist must learn to see things that escape the eyes of most people, signs of what has passed, what is happening and what is yet to come
         -Vinson Brown From The Amateur Naturalists Handbook

If we follow this example we too will find the surprisingly beautiful works of nature that lay right before our noses." (c) Danielle Schlunegger 2011

3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / X stitch pattern program for a Mac?? on: October 27, 2010 11:57:50 PM
So I've seen a few suggestions for pattern making programs, some that are free, this is AWESOME! But unfortunately the cheep ones are not compatible with mac, does anyone out there know of any???
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Whats Your favorite animal?? suggestions for needlepoint jewlery :) on: October 26, 2010 10:17:51 PM
 Quiz time!

I NEED YOUR HELP! What are your favorite animals?? (including extinct, fantastical, or otherwise)
I'm trying to put together some jewelry design stuff similar to this bracelet and I need some animals or other things to embroider on these cuff bracelets I'm making!!!

Thank you!
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Animal Specimens made from paper and beeswax (lots of Pics!!!) on: October 10, 2010 01:37:57 AM
So I've been lurking around the threads for a while and haven't posted much, so I thought I would put up some old projects to get me motivated. I posted this in paper crafts, but these are sculptures above all else

These little guys are all part of an ongoing project and my recent graduating thesis, The Marcus Kelli Collection. Marcus Kelli was an amateur naturalist who collected some of the rarest and undocumented species on the planet.  I'm sure this is a little weird but he's something of an alter ego/ character of mine. I've been making his tools and his infamous specimen collection from hand. I make the specimens from old books so that each one literally has it's own "story" to tell. Someday I hope to have my own museum in his honor, until then here are a few "excerpts" from The Collection:

here is a more professional shot of some of the very first specimens under glass

A variant on the angler fish. This little beastie has sharp bioluminescent spines to attract his prey in the murky depths

The Carizzo Plains Pygmy Deer- A very elusive creature. It's small size and generous antlers allow it to huddle up next to dried brush and camouflage it's self from flying predators such as owls and hawks.

a close up of the pygmy deer showing some lettering

A genetic relative to the kiwi- not much has been found in Marcus Kelli's notes about this little guy, but more information may be available as new info surfaces from the collection

close up

This is a process picture of a big-clawed crab. You can see how I start with origami- like shapes. I usually glue mostly glue everything together with ph neutral archival glue then dip it/ attach parts with hot beeswax and add in other materials. I ended up using black sewing pins dipped in wax to make the eyes which turned out really great, I just dont have a finished image

This is the specimen I'm working on right now but havnt gotten any paper on yet- but I plan on paper-ing the face and legs then covering them with fur and wax and such.

I hope you like! Questions and comments welcome Smiley
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Brass and Embroidery Boar Cuff Bracelet (now with images) :D on: July 20, 2010 10:15:54 PM
Here's my go at combining embroidery along with metal work!!!
The cuff is made of brass sheet that I used a jeweler's saw on to create the design cut outs.
The 2 embroidered boars are a way of depicting the dualism of human nature, and the small tooth cut out is a memento mori, reminding one of their mortality.

(a little story to go along with it ) Smiley
This embroidered brass bracelet belonging to Eldria Gail was found in the Marcus Kelli Archives. Little else is currently known about Eldria Gail other than what can be gathered from her letter correspondences with the Naturalist, Marcus Kelli. She was apparently a boar breeder and an Intellectual. She appears to have had some sort of romantic entanglements with her correspondent- although from what has been recovered from the archives so far, no resolution between the two has been found.
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