owl (or what?)

If you don’t want to see animal bones -skip this.

IMG_5563I love how the two carry holes and pull tabs looks like a monster.

IMG_5537During tech last week Anita, Stephan and I were in the Timber Barn setting levels and lighting cues. It was 11pm, freezing cold and possibly the worst day of my strep throat. I was delirious, mildly miserable wrapped in a blanket and we were all trying our best to be patient with each other. Then Stephan pointed up to the rafters ‘Look!’ A barn owl had flown in. I spat out ‘Oh fuck! It’s Beltaine!’ In the furious clusterfuck of tech week I’d completely forgot. Stephan smiled and said ‘This is a good omen.’

He gave me this sculpture on opening night. The bones are found in the forest where he lives. The owl head was gifted to him from friends who run a puppet theatre/ organic vegetable farm near by. They’d found the deceased owl in their field. He buries the bones till the ant’s pick them clean then re-animates the creatures usually with motors and lights. I talked more about is studio here, here and here.

IMG_5562The puppet eyes are mounted to urchin shells, which I guess he picked up on a coastal beach; we’re about five hours from the ocean. The base is a solid piece of steel on mauve velvet. He’s shown in galleries across the country and has figured out pretty skookum shipping boxes.

IMG_5543The light bulb butt is to remind me of the night the owl visited during levels. The legs are mounted on magnets at the knees so it can rotate. The feet are from a raven.

IMG_5560The jaw has hinges. I love the little metal neck collar.

IMG_5551I need to ask him what kind of hard wood it’s standing on.

IMG_5555Darby recognized the shoulder blades are a clarinet key.


  1. WOW that is wild!! Really beautiful! Kind of crazy too, and so inventive. haha, but I love it! must be so cool to see in action.
    I don’t mind seeing animal bones, really. Especially since this one died naturally. There’s actually a jewlery company called Bonetrail that makes stuff I like a lot; I’ve talked to those women who make the stuff – everything is found ethically.

    • lysette said:

      I’m cool with it too, everything he uses is gathered not hunted. His kinetics and shadow plays are a total trip. The Barr Brothers used his work in one of their videos… I can’t remember the song, Stephan is in the shadows, digging up his bones and making them dance. I’ll check out Bonetrail, thanks 🙂

  2. kendy said:

    creepy – cool – awesome!

    you need to let me know of the free mason zine you wrote about on my blog!

    • lysette said:

      Caboose #9: Masons on Masons How to Start a Secret Society by Liz Mason. I highly recommend it! I picked it up from Pioneers Press Distro.

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