I don’t know if it’s the whole Etsy movement or what, but I have been on a big crafting kick lately.
Here’s my most recent project.
My mom gave me two goat skulls and two sets of deer antlers the last time I was on the farm. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with them, but they definitely needed some work.
Here’s what I started with.
The skulls had remnants of wasp nest and other debris inside them, and the smaller set of antlers had a bit of leathery skin and some fur on it. Kind of gross. So, I soaked them in a sink full of hot water and bleach for the evening. The wasp nest and dirt dissolved and washed out of the skulls, but I couldn’t get the skin off the antlers and, truthfully, I was too grossed out to put a lot of effort into it. The obvious solution was spray paint.
It took me a while to choose the right color. I’d seen white ceramic animal heads on Z Gallerie’s website, but thought white would be, well, boring on bone. Black was my next thought, but I was afraid the textural interest of the bone would get lost in a dark color. I decided to go with a satin-finish gold — metallic would just be tacky, I think.
This is how they turned out.
I still wasn’t sure what to do with them, though. My original plan was to hang them along the stair banister, but I wasn’t sure how to mount them. For a while I had them displayed on my guitar case stand (it used to be a TV stand, but I don’t own a TV), and that was OK.
But this morning I was feeling kind of sad that I never use my big wooden salad bowl. I eat a lot of salad, but I only make a little at a time — not enough to justify getting the salad bowl out. It was a shame, because the bowl really is a thing of beauty. No reason it couldn’t be part of the decor, I thought.
So I put it out on what my mom and aunts call “the retro table,” which I got from my grandma. It looked nice, but if you have a decorative bowl you must put something in it. I thought about wine corks, but even a boozer like me doesn’t have enough to fill a bowl that big. I thought about my dog’s leash and accessories, but that seemed a little unsanitary. The best thing I could come up with was the bones.
I am actually quite pleased with it. I think the bones make more of a statement when they’re all together, but the overall placement is subtle enough that it doesn’t scream “Psycho lives here!”
It’s possible that some of my friends might feel uncomfortable around my bits o’ dead animal, but I think the paint makes them look artificial enough that more people will say “Carrie has a really quirky sense of style” instead of “Carrie is fucking unhinged.”
And really, isn’t this lovely?