Another fun Christmas commission I can now write about (recipient is pleased, no spoilers, etc) involved a collaboration between myself and another very accomplished jeweler named Doug Bucci. Mr. Bucci’s first role in my life was that of teacher: he taught my stone-setting class in college. Being as Philadelphia is a small city and the artistic community a tightly woven one, Doug and I have loosely kept tabs on one another throughout the years, along with most of my other jewelry school survivors. It felt like a war, sometimes, and we have the PTSD to prove it.
BUT. I digress. Doug and several others in my jewelry clique have moved onto the art of 3D printing. An example of Doug’s outstanding work in the CAD arena:
Despite the fact that my studio-mate owns and operates one of these crazy newfangled things in the space we share together (I have seen it work with my own eyes), I cannot wrap my mind around this phenomenon. I don’t quite care to. I’ll let my hands do the talking and leave the techno stuff to the experts. However, I am quite happy to endorse, receive and benefit from the articles produced by these machines. (Have you seen me sporting my Loop Hoop earrings by the amazing Maria Eife?)
Imagine my excitement then, when Doug approached me about making a jackalope using antlers designed & printed from this technology. This piece was to be a gift for his daughter and I was instantly smitten with the idea of not only a dad commissioning such a cool piece but also contributing his own talents. He designed, printed and cleaned up the antlers, brought them to me and I got smurfin’.
These days I always seem to have at least one rabbit head (and feet, skin, etc for that matter) in my freezer, compliments of my boys at the Farmer’s Husband. I thawed one out, cleaned his skull and built a form around it with clay. The antlers were deliberately large; we thought an exaggerated look would be fun. After all, this creature doesn’t exist naturally so why not make it as fantastical as possible? This thought process is Rogue Taxidermy at its best, in my opinion.
I was nervous about supporting the weight of these bad boys on my rabbit’s head but I drilled holes through the skull and wired it up. Success.
I got swept up in a Victorian theme, leather & lacing the shit out of this thing. Much to my delight, I might add.
I used grey fox eyes instead of the anatomically correct hollow black glass ones to give him more personality.
I’m a terrible photographer and this piece, due to its dimensions, was difficult to capture. These photos are disappointing to me but I suppose they get the point across.
He’s snarling. Those are the rabbit’s actual teeth.
And that’s Jackelope.