Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ordivician Monsters

Pre-historic critters are, in a word, "awesome" and there was a lot more running around out there than dinosaurs and their pals that get lumped in with them. For me, some of the most fascinating are early Cephalopods that arrived on the scene in the Ordivician and Silurian periods. These eventually diversified and became everything from the Nautilus to Octopus and Cuttlefish. These animals are interesting in and of themselves but are made even more so by allusions to gothic horror creatures like Cthulu. I'm also pretty fascinated with model making, prototyping and generally just playing around with natural history.

Like most people, at some time or another, I have picked up sea shells and carried them home. While I'm aware that those cool looking ancient Cephalopods are long gone I often imagine auger shells and ceriths as being left behind by them. So, why not make those imaginings more tangeable?

I'm a big fan of polymer clays Sculpey. They some in a wide range of colors and types and are easily cured by baking in a conventional oven. Even with wide and varied use by crafters of all kinds I think it's an underutilized medium that offers endless applications. More use seems to center on the decorative possibilities but there is a world of practical application as well. In this case it's decorative and structural in terms of being able to turn the Cephalopod model into a pendant.

This was a lot of fun and got me rolling on a couple of other projects I'd been meaning to tackle like making a drop spindle . I contemplated buying one or using more expected materials like wood but I'm big on adapting and cross applying what's on hand as well as just exploring making things in new ways out of sheer contempt for dogma.

Note: These are intended to be more on the fun side than accurately represent an early Cephalopod but they are fairly close anyway.

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