Jessica Joslin’s Dark And Delicate Sculptures Made From Bone And Metal

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For her series “Animal Alchemy,” the sculptor Jessica Joslin uses delicate found animal bones and antique metal works to build an array of animal acrobats, who play at balancing on balls and interacting with one another. As suggested by the work’s alliterated title, her pieces present a touching marriage of the biological and chemical. The incorporation of once-living materials succeeds seamlessly for Joslin’s choice to use nostalgic and decorative out-of-date metals; against the rusted filigree of fragmented keepsakes, the time-bleached animal bones appear right at home.

Joslin’s creatures navigate a fine line between fragility and aggression; in a piece titled Troy, the reimagines the deceptively merciful figure of the Trojan Horse, fortifying a spindly neck with bullet casings. Frail skulls wear protective armor as if preparing for some ancient battle. Against the sheen of durable metals, animal bones appear unexpectedly delicate despite their sharp teeth and clawing talons.

With breathtaking precision, the artist allows her bony creatures a single mark of vitality, filling their cavernous sockets with marbly eyes. The careful emotionality of the pieces ultimately makes them more gentle than frightful; the sculptor subtly realizes their personalities and relations with one another through the downcast slant or expectant focus of a pupil. A particularly poignant two-headed tortoise is only given two inner eyes, causing each head to fixate the other without access to a peripheral world. Similarly, a horselike beast gazes upwards balefully, pulling the heavy carriage behind him.

Each piece, beautifully fashioned with discarded bones and obsolete metalworks, performs for the viewer, imploring us not to forget their purpose. Take a look. “Animal Alchemy” is now on display in Scottsdale, AZ at Lisa Sette Gallery. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Jennifer Trask Sculpts Delicate Objects Out Of Bones

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Artist Jennifer Trask counts bone as one of the media used in her elaborate sculptures. Bending, carving, and gilding, she constructs bouquets of antlers, gold, and other found objects, some dating as far back as the 18th century. There is a certain level of awe that comes from viewing these labored works as Trasks crafts delicate flowers out of material that we only know as being stiff and obtuse. She emphasizes craft, while at the same time making things ghostly realistic. Her work is described by the Lisa Sette Gallery as having “sprouted from an enchanted seed… Trask’s objects emit an unmistakable air of magic.

The process is undoubtedly important to her work. In order to manipulate her carved-bone works, she must know how and in what deer antlers need to be cured, and what kind of solution of vinegar will soak a python’s rib to make it easily malleable. Despite this knowledge, her goal for her work is much more simple than that. She states, “That’s what I’m trying to claim when I go into the studio. I want to make something that I believe could be real, something that could have happened on its own.”

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