Thursday, March 3, 2011

Newest Mandible

The last few weeks have been an exciting time for me thanks to a very kind person who offered to share some of their teaching collection of natural bones and Bone Clones®. Bone Clones® are resin replicas cast from real bone, and the brand has become highly respected by educators for their exacting standards and detailed reproductions. The natural bones, many exotic, were obtained legally and humanely. This is important to me, and I trust my source, who has good reason to have the bones in the first place.

I've been doing a lot of molding, but I'm anxious to have a finished piece, a gift of thanks for the opportunity. My first project is a galago, or bushbaby, mandible. I had to go with this one first, because it's so interesting compared with other mammal jaw bones. Galagos, along with lemurs and lorises, are in a special group of primates which have a toothcomb. The structure is in the front of the mandible, and in the galago consists of four lower incisors and two canines [three on each side]. These teeth aid in grooming by removing dirt and matted hair. In the topmost picture below, you can see the incisors peeking out from behind the largest forward pointing tooth, which is the canine.


It would be nice to have a casting machine so I could make true 3D reproductions, but I really enjoy the process of molding by hand. Even though it's more work to pick up the details of the bone, trim the excess clay, and angle and smooth the edges, there's a connection to the bone that I think I'd miss using a machine. I can only hope there are people out there who appreciate that aspect of my pieces enough to maybe buy someday! In the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun, and am so grateful for the inner motivation and external opportunities which allow me to do it.

My dad has dubbed my mandibles the 'Jaws Line', imagine that! I know there are more popular items out there, but I just love that I have enough jaws to continue to develop a little line. If you're interested, you can see my finished ones by clicking the pics below.

Fine Silver Hedgehog Mandible



Fine Silver Squirrel Mandible



Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

3 comments:

Amy Nicole said...

I love hearing about how much your are enjoying your "Jaws Line" :) It is so awesome to make something that we feel truly connected to. I am enjoying seeing your work unfold and can't wait to see more. BTW, As a shout out to Lemur's, my youngest has 3 stuffed lemur dolls and my oldest one. That is an interesting tid bit about the tooth comb. I learned something new today!

Kim said...

Aw, thank you for the Jaws support! I'm having so much fun. Sometimes I think I should have stuck with my archaeology studies, but I'd probably be too tempted to make molds for jewelry. Now I have got to hunt down a lemur stuffy, how cute is that?! I'm sure they didn't have those when I was little...

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