of the beasts



wood, glass taxidermy eyes, paint, steel

68 inches X 18 inches X 18 inches

This figure is carved from laminated sugar pine, glued up from eight/quarter by twelve inch pieces. I did the glue-up in the woodshop of the sculpture department at santa Fe Community College, where I teach. The glue-up weighed about 300 pounds before I cut the outline on the large bandsaw. I roughed out the shape with a chainsaw, then with a large chisel.

Then, I took it home for finish carving.

The glass taxidermy eyes are all different animals, mostly deer and sheep, but with a lot of different bird and fish eyes. I set the eyes into the wood, then faired them in and made eyelids with auto-body putty. The figure was then painted, with strontium aluminate pigment added to the constellation's stars, so that they glow in the dark, then paste waxed.

sometimes I call this piece "skyclad", sometimes I call it "of the beasts", I haven't quite decided which will stick. In any case, "skyclad" refers to magical ritual done under the stars, "of the beasts"refers to animal goddesses. In either case, both titles relate to the ecstatic experience of being deep IN peak experience, which is what the sculpture is about for me.


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2007 Erika Wanenmacher