Date: Saturday, October 10th
Time: 12pm – 6pm
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY
Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2277316
Meddling with Nature will present a DIY workshop focused on Naturalism and DIY methods for artists who have an interest in displaying elements of the real natural world. Why not create your own natural history museum just like the pros did it back in the day? The workshop entails a full day of participatory activities on preservation methods common to the natural history museum. From taxidermy and skeletal cleaning to entomological preparation and even an anatomy/physiology component for those who are interested in both dissection and medical illustration.
Materials will be presented in an interactive manner, allowing participants to engage directly with questions rather than waiting for a particular moment. Those who wish to explore should be ready and willing to get their hands dirty! Assistants will be on hand to help with instruction, allowing those more interested in studio time to explore organ systems and anatomy should something pique their interest on the other side of the room. We will also have a discussion on what “ethically sourced,” and “no kill” means to us and explore what it might mean to participants.
Introduction to Taxidermy
The nature of “play” is critical to understanding the natural world. Taxidermy allows us to investigate, take apart, and influence the perception of the natural world. Whether through directly capturing reality or skewing it a bit to fit another purpose. Taxidermy is sculpture. During this component Jeremy will explore the many many methods to get the job done. He will describe the process of skinning, cleaning, and tanning, to the details of form, measurements, and final positioning.
Skeletal Cleaning and Articulation
Jeremy will show works in process and explain the chemical procedures required for clean, grease free, and long lasting skeletal preparations. Three cleaning methods will be discussed: bacteria, insects, and heat. The cleaning of a skull found in the woods is much different than the cleaning of a fresh “meat attached” specimen. Proper bleaching methods as well as long-term care concerns will be described. Participants will be introduced to hardware construction used in articulation, including modern mounting techniques, such as Beauchene or so-called “exploded skull” mounts.
Participants will be issued one large pre-relaxed and poseable 4 cm or larger insect, pins, positioning block, and direct education on how the process of mounting can be done with anyone willing to put forth a bit of patience. Participants will be able to take their work home and be given care instructions for preservation and periodic cleaning. This demo includes tips for field collection and methods for preserving fleshy-bodied insects ranging from caterpillars to spiders. Students will leave class with their prepared and mounted insect.
Wet Preservation, Clearing/Staining and Plastination
It’s not as simple as shoving something into a jar of
formaldehyde. During this lecture and demo, participants will learn wet preservation for both tiny and large specimens. Jeremy will present a full coyote organ system and explain how different methods and chemicals yield different results.
After chemically preserving a specimen in formalin, it then becomes possible to take a number of different roads for a final piece. We will review historic preservation methods, including thefantastic Hunter brothers, and how modern scientist-artists are using polymers and plastination.
with specimens can be cleared and stained, they can also “exit the jar” and become a tactile example for students and biological enthusiasts. These techniques may encourage you to take natural arts to levels not yet considered.
Dissection Methods and Ethically-sourced Materials
Specimens will be available as studio reference for those who wish to sketch fresh samples. Jeremy will explain the ins and outs of road kill collection, how to determine specimen viability, and show examples of road kill dissected to illustrate a sequence of events leading to the ever popular
COD. Jeremy and his team will also discuss their thoughts on the usage of such material as opposed to food-grade specimens for similar study.
Jeremy Johnson is a Kansas native who currently resides in Cincinnati where he attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati. While there, he became fascinated with human anatomy and began working in comparative anatomy shortly after leaving the Academy. His work has taken him down the road of art forms such as taxidermy, skeletal preparation, and medical illustration. His work has more recently advanced in scope to incorporate an in-depth educational and performance component that recaptures the golden age of science and medicine through public dissections and demonstration of the techniques employed in natural history museums. Jeremy often works in film and theater in prop production as an addition to his organization, Meddling with Nature. (www.meddlingwithnature.com)