Fragile Fossil

In the challenge of balancing being a stay-at-home mother, professional medical illustrator working from home office, and a regularly exhibiting fine artist, I’m afraid these blogs are just falling down the priority list. Along with sleep and cleaning the refrigerator. But I digress – let me fill you in on what’s been happening with the diamond dinosaur.

Feeling stumped by my limited views of T.Rex Sue via photos on the internet, I made a trip to the Melbourne Museum to see some bones (or casts of these) in person. There is a lovely balcony view where I could study the Australian therapod on display from above. And in the Resource Room I met a very helpful palaeontologist who directed me to various resources including a book by Larson and Carpenter called Tyrannosaurus Rex the Tyrant King. This wonderful volume includes a DVD with CGI reconstructions of the skeleton demonstrating the range of motion of joints, how the animal would have balanced, and an altogether more real way to imagine the creature.

After viewing this I proceeded to change just about everything that I had done in wax to date. About 6 weeks until close of entries for the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize – 2.5 of which were school holidays meaning very limited time to work. But spending all this time (and money) to create this piece in less than best effort was not an option.

In the end I took my wax, dental tools and alcohol burner on Easter vacation with me, working on Rex every night after the kids went to bed. Phillip, my jeweller guru, and I had agreed that I should create each rib individually in wax rather than rely on mechanical and more artificial (but quicker!) means. One last long day on our return to Melbourne, the kids having gone back to school, resulted in this delicate wax version of the skeleton. Next to deconstruct the beast in pieces small enough to have molds made… TBC -bc

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