To Disappear And Never Be Found

Rosie Anne Prosser, Among the first to grow

In the course of a conversation with my baby sister sometime this past week, I confessed that when this business with my grandparents’ estate is over, my grand plan was to fake my own death and run away forever. I was only half kidding.

This is going to come off as a all bunch of whinging and hand-wringing, but I tell you what–I am tired. I took care of their bills and banking and a great many aspects of their business during the last few years of their lives–as well as the day to day maintenance of their actual lives outside of finance-related things, at least for a while before we got some extra help…and yet, my grandmother has been gone for over a year now, but I still can’t seem to extricate myself from all of it it. They had a will, they had their bank accounts put into a trust, so with all that in place, you wouldn’t think there would be so many loose ends and that it all would be such a pain, but who knows, probably because I am an idiot and didn’t do something just so, this probate and estate situation is really dragging out. We’re also trying to sell their house, and the buyers keep backing out and the one we’ve finally got needs all of these repairs done because it’s some kind of a VA loan…so, as personal representative, I’ve got calls with lawyers, realtors, contractors, insurance people and I am sure I don’t have to tell you how stressful and anxiety inducing I find all of this. I just want this all to be over. I can’t properly mourn my beloved Mawga and Boppa, not really. Not with all of this still hanging over my head. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been doing this forever and there is no end in sight.

So yes, I want to be done with responsibilities. With obligations. With meetings and phone calls and relaying information back and forth and second guessing my every decision and feeling like a failure because I’m not doing it right, not doing it timely enough, not doing it the way someone else might have done it. I want to walk away and never look back and never ever have to think about this again. Faking my own death and running away to be a hermit in the mountains, without another human being (or a telephone) for hundreds of miles around, sounds super appealing to me right now. I want to disappear so that they’ll never find me.

Rosie Anne Prosser, A sunless world

It was with a head heavy and churning with these sorts of thoughts that I discovered the photography of Rosie Anne Prosser via her flickr account late last night. A photographer and storyteller who describes herself as a “Mountain Goat raised in The Black Mountains”, her melancholic landscapes of lonely cliffs, secluded thickets and remote paths, the focal point a lone figure, cloaked in mists and shadows with her back to both the camera and the viewer, enigmatically, introspectively, and perhaps even a bit defiantly gazing off to somewhere else, entirely…

Well, I’m having a hard time articulating how it made me feel. It was just one of those serendipitous moments when you find something you needed to see, just when you needed to see it. Each and every image tugged at my heart and seemed to echo back to me everything that I am feeling right now, and my soul whispered to me in a language tinged with both misery and hope, “I want to go to there.” I don’t know that I can say more than that.

For now, though, you can tell them that I was last seen climbing into these photos.  I will be immersing myself in solitude, silence, and still, sunless days. Please don’t try to find me.

You can, however, find Rosie Anne Prosser on: flickr // instagram // facebook // tumblr

Rosie Anne Prosser, West

Rosie Anne Prosser, West

Rosie Anne Prosser, August

Rosie Anne Prosser, August

Rosie Anne Prosser, A crash, a stillness

Rosie Anne Prosser, A crash, a stillness

Rosie Anne Prosser, Self Reflection

Rosie Anne Prosser, Self Reflection

Rosie Anne Prosser, An Admonishment

Rosie Anne Prosser, An Admonishment

Rosie Anne Prosser, When They Fall

Rosie Anne Prosser, When They Fall

How To Wear The Vernal Equinox

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I have written before–and with much brighter colors–on How To Wear The Vernal Equinox, but I gloomed it up a little for Haute Macabre today, for those of us who derive our powers from mass quantities of black.

My How To Wear sets are mostly wishlist type yearnings–often people say to me, “wow, everything is so expensive! I wish you’d do a budget friendly one!” Well, tough titties, folks. I don’t spend my time wishing away for budget friendly items! Make your own thrift store friendly lists or whatever–that’s not my thing. I like dreaming about posh, luxury items!

HOWEVER, I have included one set (above) that is full of things* I already own, or wear, or are very similar to things I own, or wear. And since I can’t afford those 5K frocks, this is the one concession I will make. So there!

Haute Macabre: How To Wear The Vernal Equinox

*though all of the things in the above image are listed over at Haute Macabre today, I will tell you the moth necklace from Flannery Grace Good, the bag from Baba Studio, and the scarf from scarf shop are my very favorites!

thistle blue and flimmering

thistle blue and flimmering from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

A playlist for sleepwalking into the midnight wood, a forest dream in the dark forever.

Track List: Silhouettes by Lucy Claire | YouTube | In The Dark Woods by Shadow | Fluttering by Zinovia Arvanitidi | Some Limited And Waning Memory by christina vantzou | The Creek by Rhian Sheehan | Black Salt by Alder & Ash | Never return home by Strië | Stems by Poppy Ackroyd Depth of a Glance by Aaron Martin | Breathe by Erik K Skodvin and Rauelsson | My Friend the Forest by Nils Frahm | Dawn by Fabrizio Paterlini | home by nights by hecq

image: Margaretha-Barbara Dietzsch

Weird And Wonderful Things

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Have you ever looked at something I’ve rambled on about here on the blog, and thought, “dang, I need a Japanese ear rake to scrape out my glunky ears, too!” Or, “man oh man, I want to give that gnarly foot peel a try!” Or “boy howdy, I want to read that book/watch that movie/hear that album/wear that stinky perfume, too!”

Well, thanks to me frittering away the better part of an afternoon making a little Amazon shop, you can find all of these delightful things collected for you in one place!

Pictured up top:

2018 Pirelli Calendar

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I only learned about the Pirelli Calendar just this year, so I hesitate to refer to it as something along the lines of “a hoary old institution” ….but when researching a small feature for Haute Macabre this week about their current 2018 all-star, all-black cast, I saw several decades worth of white faces and white bodies gracing the publication over previous years. I then realize that the last time the calendar had an all-black ensemble was in 1987. That’s 30+ years ago. Yikes.

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Photographer Tim Walker and stylist Edward Enninful (British Vogue’s first black editor in chief) envisioned for 2018 a new and different take on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, Through The Looking Glass, and they have given it a vibrant, powerful new treatment entirely populated by beautiful black models, musicians, and activists  who cavort and contort through the story’s madcap, marvelous world.

See more over at Haute Macabre this week:

Through A Powerful Looking Glass: The 2018 Pirelli Calendar

Bonus: a fabulous video detailing “the making of”!

Emperor of Nightmares: EC Steiner

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(This interview was originally published on Dirge in 2015. The site is no longer active or updating.)

Think back upon your last nightmare. Not those maddening dreams where your mother is still alive and making you crazy or the ones where your bank account is inexplicably in the single digits and you are three months behind in rental payments. No, the real nightmares. The harrowing nocturnal visions that wrench you awake with a gasp and a shudder, render you terror-stricken, with your heart pounding, and desperately praying that the creature you’ve just encountered whilst slumbering is not, in fact, in the very room with you.

You lie under the blankets, paralyzed. Powerless and sleepless, nerves jangled and at the edge of your skin, until the sky lightens with morning, the room’s dim shadows scatter, and you finally see that you are alone. Or, at least – you are alone now.

EC Steiner is an Atlanta-based sculptor, designer, and sometime storyteller who crafts dark and dangerous visions inspired by “the sensuous, the grotesque, and things as foul as they are fair.” He conjures forth those phantom filaments from the darker pathways of our disturbed slumbers and coaxes them to life in the form of horror and dark-fantasy inspired artwork.

In a recent interview, I spoke with Steiner about his love of the dark and of nights, and how this fascination inspires and informs the nightmarish hordes of strange and evocative grotesqueries that he creates and unleashes his audience.

Perhaps you should leave a light on tonight.

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When I first became aware of your work, you were using the King Unicorn moniker. Why the shift, and can you tell us about the significance of the Casket Glass name you are now using for your endeavors?

EC Steiner: Like many artists, I have a day job to support my art and reduce some of the uncertainties that come along with working in a creative field. Unlike many artists, I was working on projects for a group of state and government agencies. I chose what I believed to be a fairly ridiculous pseudonym in order to save my employer from having to explain why “some gorehound” was the acting team lead. And that ruse held up for a long while.

King Unicorn reflects a past life of taking on commissions, work-for-hire assignments, and the highly competitive opportunities created by the projects of others. Every year, there are thousands of artists graduating into creative fields ready to chase and grab up the opportunities others provide. Casket Glass reflects my desire to move away from that realm – to create my own opportunities and focus almost entirely on my own projects. In this way, the work is wholly mine and fully expresses what I want to leave behind in the world. Casket Glass is not a new identity as much as a reminder of what inspires and motivates me.

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You describe yourself as an “Alchemical Artist, Errant Decadent & Purveyor of Lygophilous Dreams.” It would seem that, to quote Rainer Maria Rilke, you “have faith in nights” – or at least in nightmares. Tell us about this fascination with the dark, this faith in nights, if you will – where it stems from, what drives it, how it translates into the work that you do.

I have a love of mystery and the unknown, and there’s an undeniable excitement that comes from wandering into the shadows outside the reach of the firelight. I keep ranging further into the darkness–into the nightmares–because I want to find the point where my sense of wonder becomes a sense of terror and to learn how can I draw on that knowledge to elevate what I’m trying to create.

To quote Devendra Varma, “The difference between Terror and Horror is the difference between awful apprehension and sickening realization: between the smell of death and stumbling against a corpse.” If through a visual medium, I’m presenting the corpse, then I also need to find some way to invoke some presence of “the smell of death” that will linger and follow my audience home. Evoking that experience is something I will spend the rest of my life working to achieve.

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What is your earliest “Lygophilous Dream”, realized, so to speak? And how has your work evolved since that time?

One day, I posted an image of a clay bust: a skull-headed, equestrian beast-man, dressed in cloak and mail, with a twisted length of cancerous growths spiraling out of the top of the head. It was entitled “King Unicorn Self-Portrait Bust,” which was a humorous play on the fact that no one knew who I was when I first started slipping artwork out of my studio; I kept my identity offline and signed off on posts and communications with simply “~KU.” It was dark and grotesque, and the response it received set the stage for everything else that followed.

The core evolution in my work is related to developing confidence with materials and with processes. For me, it just took putting in the time and giving myself the time to collect the experiences that evolved the work.

Being primarily a self-taught sculptor, so much of my growth was inspired and supported by the creative community. I owe a great deal to those artists who were willing to take time away from their own work to offer suggestions, share techniques, and encourage pushing everything as far as I could take it.

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Though your illustrative work is fiendishly well-honed, it’s clear that your first love is sculpting – can you tell us about your background in the medium, and how this love came to be?

I was first exposed to sculpting when I was very young as part of a wonderful arts program offered by the public school system where I lived. As I grew older and was moved around, those opportunities didn’t appear as often, and I ended up taking art classes that kept repeating the same entry-level techniques. That continued into higher education, where formal art instruction and I parted ways.

It wasn’t until around 2000, when I picked up an old issue of Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine (#18, with the beautiful “Alien Pile” sculpture by Takayuki Takeya on the cover) that I was truly inspired to do more with sculpting than just create costumes and Halloween props. I ordered a five-pound block of oil-based clay and went to work. From that moment, I never stopped trying new techniques, experimenting with new materials, and being open to failing in new and spectacular ways to gain experience.

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Your pieces have appeared as part of several exhibitions: Splendid Trespass at 8ofswords Gallery in 2013, The Grotesque at Modern Eden and Yours Truly at Alexi Era Gallery in 2014. More recently we can see your digital work in Canaan Cult Revival Magazine, and in My Dream Date With A Villain, a publication from hereticalsexts. What drew you to these projects in particular? Where can we see more of your work?

There has to be something compelling about an opportunity for me to want to take time away from my own work to contribute to its outcome. Most of these projects were helmed by friends and designed to launch new personal endeavors. My contributions were a way to do more than just act as a cheerleader for their ideas; I was able to lend my time and my creativity to help them find a sense of success and momentum early on.

For gallery events, I want what I present to contribute to the narrative of the exhibition, not work against it. All of my gallery pieces were developed specifically to match the themes of each event. I recognize that sculpture is, at times, underrepresented in galleries, so I appreciate having the opportunity to lend an extra dimension to the narrative the curators are after.

Due to ongoing commitments and a backlog of projects, I discontinued contributing to gallery exhibitions for 2015, but samples of my work are available on my website, and I regularly post under the Casket Glass name on Twitter and Instagram, which funnels my work to Facebook and Tumblr for those who prefer those networks.

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What can you share with us regarding your work space where these dark dreams incubate and are brought to life? What rituals do you use to put yourself in the mood to work?

I live in a kind of hermitage near the mountains. While I’m far from the more enticing elements of Atlanta, the distance from distractions affords me more time to work and a space that’s conducive to my needs. I’m able to keep a designated indoor studio and a separate manufacturing workshop for louder, messier activities.

Because my day is divided between two very different worlds, I need to take the time to peel off the skin I wear during the day to prepare for the evening’s work. When I don’t take that time, it creates a channel through which the frustrations and conflicts from my work day can creep into my sacred space. I use a sort of meditative practice involving music and transmutative visualization, so my daylight toils can’t cross over and poison the joy the evening brings.

I don’t like to look at other artists’ work after I’ve begun a project. I will gather up my references and complete some preliminary sketches before the focused activity begins, but I prefer to avoid outside influences once I’m under way. I don’t want to recreate the thing that inspires me by going back to it repeatedly. I let the inspiration act as a catalyst, then step away from it. I would rather the work I attach my name to have my own voice and not feel borrowed from something or someone else.

Nearly all of my spare time is devoted to being in the studio. It’s the drawback of dividing the hours available each day between the thing I love and the thing that supports it. Fortunately, I’m not forced to pass the time in a silent cell. I use my nightly and weekend sessions to explore the films and music that both help develop my projects and keep me entertained.

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In that vein, is there anything you can share regarding future projects and collaborations?

On the sculpting table, I’m currently finishing a trio of busts to release in an extremely limited, one-off format and then will begin a new line of occult-themed models for collectors and painters. I’m also working on the last design for my “Carthage” series of three acrylic and graphite paintings. That series will be available individually and as a single triptych print. And because no hour should be left unspent, I’m in the midst of writing and planning the illustrations for a novella to offer those who enjoy more than a few words with their art.

 

Currently {March 2018}

IMG_2352The last few months I have been homebodying it up; reading, knitting, trying to watch a movie but usually giving it up to read or knit some more, instead. Which is not to say that my social calendar is generally quite busy– it is certainly not–but it does seem to be filling up at an even slower pace than usual.

I did attend a small but lovely Death Over Brunch (our Sunday morning, chilaquilecentric riff on Death Over Dinnerin January–and hopefully in the forthcoming months we will be expanding this concept to a more public venue and opening up the events to a larger guest list! Stay tuned for details.

In February I got a thing removed from my face! I had it checked out last year and they told me it was seborrheic keratosis, which is basically just a harmless barnacle, and that I shouldn’t worry about it. Well, I wasn’t worried, per se, but it sure was ugly, so a year later, I made an appointment to get it removed. If you’re curious, insurance did not cover this procedure; it cost me $125 (I think they gave me some kind of discount because I was paying out of pocket.) They squirted the area with liquid nitrogen, which stung a little, and throbbed gently for about 20 minutes after. After a week or so, the little booger started to come loose from my face, and since I couldn’t resist fiddling with it, I peeled it off. I probably should have given it another day to come off on its own, but I don’t think it made too much of a difference. Now the area beneath is a little pink, but even that is starting to fade. I was beginning to feel very self conscious about the spot, and you know, I’ve got a handful of things that already make me insecure, so if I could fix one of them relatively cheaply and safely–why not?

ear picks

In the meantime, allow me to share with you some of my recent Favorite Things.

Featured in the top photo are a ridiculous pair of light-up, cat-eared headphones. They are the best purchase I have ever made. Just look at them. They’re awesome. I will assume this is self-explanatory and move on.

Bamboo Japanese ear cleaning picks. These particular ones don’t get great reviews, all sorts of complaints of them breaking off and getting lodged in the ear canal, but come on people–a little finesse, please! I can’t feel sorry for those yahoos, jamming bamboo sticks in their ears, willy-nilly and then injuring themselves. I’m actually the worst at everything, and that’s never happened to me, so I’m not sure what’s wrong with these folks. I was obsessed with the practice after reading this a few years ago. (Despite the fact that the article basically says not to do it.)

Our new squatty potty stool! I don’t think I even need this, but I figure even if you’re fairly regular, you can always improve on things. I like to keep my guts and related business happy, and, well, I had some amazon credit. There’s also a white, plastic version (I got the more expensive luxury bamboo model) but either way it gives a sort of geriatric impression…which isn’t really the sort of bathroom decor I was looking for, but, oh well. If you’re not grossed out by such things, give this review a read over at gizmodo; the comments are particularly enlightening.

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Laniege Lip Mask I have a dreadful habit of brutalizing my lips when I get stressed or anxious or nervous. I don’t just nibble at them in a manner that suggests shades of sexy, virginal innocence, in the way that the heroine of a bafflingly popular “erotic” novel might do–no, I gnaw and rip and tear at the skin on my lips, as if my teeth are vultures picking apart a carcass on the side of a busy highway in the afternoon sun.  I am often left with craters and crevasses on my lips, unsightly pits and splits marring my poor, mangled mouth. I tried the lip mask from Laniege, on a whim–it’s a berry-scented gloop that you glop on your lips overnight–and you know, it does actually help quite a bit. My lips really never heal completely from the abuses that I subject them to, but in the few weeks I have been using this, I think it’s as close as I am going to get. They really do look almost normal now, and without trying to sound overly dramatic, I started noticing results almost overnight! Make of that what you will. (Another nervous habit I have is scratching a phantom itch, usually located in the ankle region. I will scratch and scratch until my ankles are raw and bloody. These wounds, too, take ages to heal.)

Lastly, I have become obsessed with mukbang spoons.  They are not called this, of course. They are just wooden spoons, used for eating. I see them used all the time in mukbang videos (here’s an example of Keemi using them to eat kimchi mac and cheese. Also if you are unfamiliar with the concept of mukbang, read this.). But there’s always something so enchanting to me about eating with comically oversized utensils, so I certainly had to have a set for myself. I used it to eat my favorite breakfast yesterday–leftover rice, heated up and mixed with a little soy sauce and butter, served with a yolky fried egg on top, and generously dusted with furikake. I’m pretty sure that eaten with a large wooden spoon, it was at least 25% more delicious. Tiny spoons also make food tastier! I use these to eat yogurt with…and I hate yogurt! It becomes at least palatable with fairy spoons, I swear.

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Books: As with the beginning of every year, it dawns on me that I actually own a library card, and thus I begin availing myself of the local branch’s offerings until about April or so, when I fall off the wagon and start up again with the buying of more books that I do not need. This sofa’s scattering of titles is the result of several trips to the library over the course of about a week and a half, and among these pictured I can heartily recommend Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women (I will probably recommend everything she’s ever written, forever), Abigale Hall by Lauren Forry, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Not pictured, but still recommended: Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Strange Case Of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Pictured, and only one chapter in, but I’m going to recommend it anyway because it’s already amazingly compelling: Pachinko by Mei Jin Lee.

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I suppose I have watched some movies recently, and some of them have been marvelous, but no doubt they are things everyone’s already seen, so I am not sure they are worth mentioning. If you’re on the fence about The Shape Of Water, drop everything and marvel at it. If you’re feeling the same way about Annihilation, I would suggest investing the time in reading the books, instead. Black Panther’s excellence was unparalleled, and I think I enjoyed it more then even Wonder Woman–and Wonder Woman was a movie I had been waiting my whole life to see. I finally got around to seeing IT (meh), The Beguiled (I enjoyed the book more), Alien Covenant (I wish they’d left out the crew and the aliens and just made the David & Walter movie instead) and The Dark Tower (was it me, or did that feel like a YA film?)

As far as streaming movies I watched Marjorie Prime, which was sort of like a Lifetime version of a Black Mirror episode…and you know what? I enjoyed it much more than any Black Mirror episode. On netflix I barrelled through Peaky Blinders in a matter of days and it was every bit as amazing as everyone says it is, so I am sorry I waited so long to get around to it. I also watched The Ritual, which was pretty freaky, the monster was particularly unsettling, and I think I might have liked it even better than the book.

What have you been reading? Watching? What sort of weirdness have you been buying from amazon in the middle of the night? Fill me in!

Interview With Adrienne Rozzi Of Poison Apple Printshop

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This week at Haute Macabre: an extensive interview with Adrienne Rozzi of Poison Apple Printshop, wherein we discuss her art and its inspirations, as well as, her great passion for knowledge and truth. It’s rare when the subject of your interview actually makes *you* feel special and amazing, but Adrienne is one such rare, remarkable soul.

Thank you for your candor and your genuine, generous nature, Adrienne.

Realms Forged Within A Vast Imagination: Adrienne Rozzi Of Poison Apple Print Shop

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{Guest Post} Stuffed in a Bell Jar: A Taxidermy Piece

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“Liz T is a seaside kitchen witch who lives with her husband and his weird dog in New Jersey. A paradox of a woman, she reads the classics and poetry while guiltlessly enjoying reality TV garbage. Find her on instagram as @divebardame.

It was one of those things that you couldn’t help but keep staring at. Curiosity driven by fascination and a bit of fear.

It was the bear skin rug that sat on top of the refrigerator in my Nan and Pop’s basement in North Philadelphia. A black bear Pop had killed on a hunting trip, folded so only the head was visible, peering over whomever was grabbing a Coors Light from the fridge. The bear’s mouth drawn wide open, showing all of his teeth. A pink rubber tongue forever shaped into a soft wave. Glass eyes staring out. The eyes were probably the most unrealistic thing about the bear. If there’s one thing I have learned while dabbling in taxidermy, it is that the eyes are the key to imitating life.

I used to pet the black bear, pat him on the head. And sometimes, pinch his teeth. After Pop had passed and the neighborhood turned, we had to move Nan out of her home and into a smaller apartment in Northeast Philly. The bear lived with us for a while, folded on top of our refrigerator in our garage. I’m not sure why this bear always ended up on top of a fridge, but who were we to question tradition? He now resides with my Uncle who has the bear and other bucks mounts on his wall. Nan and Pop are gone, but that bear is still around.

Another distance family member, my aunt-by-marriage’s-brother’s -wife, (if you’re Italian, you know this just means ‘aunt’) had a massive collection of insects. Vibrant butterflies, glossy green beetles, jet black scorpions- all framed and labeled around their home. Again, this experience occurred as a child, so in reality she may have had about a dozen frames of bugs. But I still like to believe my child’s memory of there being hundreds. I loved staring at them, but even more so, I wanted to touch them. I had never seen butterflies so big and blue growing up in Pennsylvania. And even if I did, I would never be able to catch those agile things. But now here they were, right in front of me. So close and delicate, with only a pane of glass between us.

On a trip to Chicago, my partner and I visited a friend who took us to the Field Museum. Not only does the museum have Sue the T. Rex, the largest and most complete dinosaur ever discovered (kudos to Sue for living large and staying organized) but they also have hall after hall of preserved animal specimens, some over 100 years old. Some are beautifully displayed in glass cases. Others are shown in a scene reflecting their environment in the wild, like the notorious man-eating lions or a grizzly bear standing upon rocky terrain. If you have ever wanted to feel like a tiny, feeble speck, go stand by that grizzly. You could easily spend an entire weekend looking at every specimen just once- that’s how big this place is.

A derpy breed of antelope at the Chicago Field Museum. Photo by my friend, Jon.

A derpy breed of antelope at the Chicago Field Museum. Photo by my friend, Jon.

So after all of this time and admiration, I finally started a collection of my own. We have a pheasant hanging in our garage which was left by the sellers- so thanks! I also have a gorgeous black tarantula gifted to me by my very best friend. We named him Abe as she purchased him in Lincoln, Nebraska. His abdomen broke off and got kinda stuck between the sealed glass by his head, but I guess that’s part of his charm. The real Abe didn’t make it out completely unscathed either.

The next piece I want to add to my collection are these gorgeously obscure little mice dioramas made by Brooklyn Taxidermy. I first came across these little delights at a punk rock flea market in Asbury Park, NJ a few years back. The company is run by Amber Maykut, a skillfully talented taxidermist and entomologist who has worked for several museums around the country, restoring and creating gorgeous pieces. The ethically sourced mouse/mice pieces are too precious. They’re exactly the storybook imagery we grew up with- little mice in their own community, maybe living inside an old grandfather clock or a hollowed out stump in the woods. Some mice are displayed enjoying a thimble sized cup of coffee, others are calling on the cards, ready to read your fortune.

If you’re reading this and are thinking “hmm, I wouldn’t mind trying to make one of these babies myself,” you’re in luck! Brooklyn Taxidermy offers classes. Whether you’re looking for classic taxidermy pieces, quirky mice, or the more creative, crypto-zoology inspired pieces such as the jackalope, Brooklyn Taxidermy is definitely worth a gander.

Taxidermy Jackalope courtesy of Brooklyn Taxidermy Etsy

Taxidermy Jackalope courtesy of Brooklyn Taxidermy Etsy

So is taxidermy odd and strange, even slightly depressing? I suppose so. It is, at its root, dead things. This once stunning, grandiose creature is now dead, gone. And that’s how we get to ENJOY the thing? Once it has passed and everything that makes a butterfly a butterfly, a bear a bear, a fox a fox- is now gone? I understand all of this- yes. But taxidermy extends beyond that. It creates eternal life only in death, through death. It offers accessibility: taking something so beautiful and striking, something that you could never get to see up close in person, and placing it right in front of you, larger than life. Even if it is only the shell. Which is also the part that is so quickly whisked away once death takes it. The shell is what is burned or boxed up and buried because it is “tainted” with death. Taxidermy says, “No, no. Not just yet.” and makes it possible for that magnificent something to stick around for a little while longer.

Instead of that old bear inciting an interest in hunting, I’ve grown to have an interest in collecting dead things. Not through channels of killing, for, as I’ve mentioned, the whole hunting thing has never sat well with me. And I absolutely do not support big game hunting. I believe any taxidermy that is acquired in present times should be obtained through ethical channels, once it has died on it’s own accord. That’s what I find most fascinating about taxidermy. It keeps around for us the semblance and structure of what something was, long after the spirit of what it was has dissipated.

If nothing else, it will make a great conversation starter for your next cocktail party.

Thank you, Liz! Do you have a weird or strange interest or passion or obsession that you would like to share with the readers of Unquiet Things? Are you interested in writing up a guest post about it? Please let me know! I will pay you with a knitted good for your time!

Previous Guest Posts:

Planners: Rituals Of Comfort, Agents Of Change
Ten Gems Of Decadent Cinema

this, that, and the other thing {xlii}

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Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera is a system-neutral campaign setting for Gothic Fantasy adventures inspired by Bloodborne, Castlevania, and Penny Dreadful. I don’t play RPGs, but this makes me really rethink my stance, because it sounds freaking amazing. And it’s by my friend, the brilliant Jack Shear! And if that stunning cover art looks familiar it’s because it is from the hand of the very talented Becky Munich.

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Johnny Joo Photographs Forgotten Structures Overtaken by Nature

26937908_1140356482761786_1258339207_oDr. Bloodsucker: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love My Pet Leech

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Advice From A Witch: Words of comfort from a mistress of the mystic arts.

Reading Horror Novels Helped Me Deal with OCD

Finding the Beauty in Nordic Ruins

Sex, jealousy and gender: Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca 80 years on

The Mysterious Murder Case That’s Captivated Iceland for Nearly 200 Years

This Twitter Fiction Turns a Fashion Show into Dante’s Inferno for the Modern Age

David Bowie Book Club Launched By Bowie’s Son

Say It with Noodles: On Learning to Speak the Language of Food

Victorian Penny Gaffs: Crime, Horror, and Murder

† David Lynch Teaches Typing

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