My sister asked me to design a tattoo for her of our beloved cat, Rudy, who is now drunkenly rolling around in that big pile of catnip in the sky, RIP Roo. I might not have a future career in tattoo design, but I had a ball drawing him anyway. He was a good cat.
This Saturday, I’m looking forward to the opening of Observatory’s first group-curated show, Lunation. Observatory is the art/lecture space in Brooklyn that I co-run with a group of artists and writers – with 8 curators, the show promises to feature a wide range of work inspired by the moon, including a piece of my own.
(I also designed the press image below, which didn’t take too much effort with such an incredible photograph to start with, by Noah Doely. I highly recommend clicking on his link to see more of his awesome work.) Join us for the opening if you’re in the area – there will be free wine aplenty.
I’ve been meaning to share my wedding invites for a good month now, and this morning I finally laid the finished products out for their photoshoot.
The very first thing I did for this wedding was the stamp. I drew a picture of the barn we’d be dancing in and sent it off to be made into a stamp. If you’re in the NYC area, I cannot recommend Casey Rubber Stamps in the Lower East Side enough. John Casey has made a few stamps for me now, and they are always perfect, he his stamps are made with real red rubber, as opposed to the plastic stuff more commonly used these days.
I used the stamp to make the rsvp cards, and also stamped anything that could be stamped at the wedding.
For the rest of the invite, as well as the programs for the ceremony, I designed them in photoshop and then screen-printed them by hand using my beloved Print Gocco. The Japanese company that made this little screen printing kit shuttered it’s doors in 2009, and today the supplies are dwindling and the prices sky high. Luckily, as a bit of an art supplies hoarder, I had a small pile of screens and bulbs with which to make my prints.
The paper I used is my absolute favorite paper of all time to use for all things – Fabriano Medioevalis single cards and envelopes. They have rough-hewn edges, a perfect thickness, and a beautiful texture. And the 4-1/2″ × 6-3/4″ cards fit perfectly in the print gocco!
It was definitely a laborious process to hand print each piece of paper, but I couldn’t be happier with how they came out, and each piece is slightly different from the next.
I’m getting married this summer, and I just finished these guides for my maidens. I also got an iPad from Dylan for my birthday, so this post is mostly an excuse to play with the camera and wordpress app. Yay, toys for grownups!
Lately I’ve been really interested in graphic design. As a motion graphics artist, the idea of designing something that doesn’t then need to move or change is a novel notion. Whenever I have free time I’ve been dabbling in graphic design – my latest project has been creating little banners for thematic Atlas Obscura Guides. The first one, The Atlas Obscura Guide to the Longest Running Science Experiments went live a few days ago. Here’s a sneak peak at some of the other guides they’ve got brewing.
These are paintings of my family pets – Bennington, the Bichon-Poo and Rudy, the haughty cat. I made them for my twin sisters for their birthdays’ last week. I don’t think I quite captured Bennington’s wild look, or Rudy’s pomposity.
Back when we first began Observatory (the lecture space I co-run), we had a wine-soaked brainstorm session of all of the amazing events, lectures, screenings, shows, and classes we wanted to host in our then-empty room. Of all of the many ideas, the one I was most excited about was hosting a taxidermy class. 2 years later, after searching far and wide, Joanna finally found an amateur taxidermist to teach it!
Last night, I was able to squeeze into one of only 4 classes, and only then because I’m a member of Observatory. Otherwise it would have been the waiting list for me – these classes have been incredibly popular. I guess I’m not the only girl in Brooklyn interested in pulling the guts out of animals. (The class of about 15 was comprised entirely of girls…there were a few boys in the previous class, but it’s so interesting that taxidermy seems to so strongly attract the ladies. Pay attention fellas looking for a cute, hip girl with a strong stomach – they’re all at Observatory stuffing mice!)
*DISCLAIMER* I love animals, and I do not believe in the killing of animals to create new taxidermy – I only collect antique and vintage pieces that have been dead many years. These mice are no exception. Sue, the teacher of the class, gets her mice from a place where mice are raised to feed pet snakes and other reptiles. The mice she receives are too old to sell as food for pets and would literally be thrown away otherwise.
To be honest, the taxidermy process, at least for a little mouse, was much less gross than I expected. It’s a lot less about guts and a lot more about very gentle, tiny work. Well – de-braining was a bit disconcerting, but it only lasted a second and then it was over.
Here I am preparing to put my clay form into my mouse skin with a small group of strangers doing the same.
One girl putting the finishing touches on her Houdini mouse.
This mouse captain was pretty cute.
I had a time trying to work out how to keep tiny glasses on a mouse whose ears wouldn’t stand up.
My mouse! He is a young, bookish Victorian gone a-courting. I was going to give him away as a gift, but I don’t think I can ever part with him. Just look at that face! Just look at it!
More info here on the Taxidermy Classes at Observatory
Dylan and I had a wonderful time putting together our bird themed show, Hollow Bones, at the Widow’s Watch in Kill Devil Hill last month. It was sad to take it down, and sadder still to have our unwieldy white peacock now blocking our entire hallway. We’ll get it back up on the wall eventually, but for now it’s easier to continuously run into it in the dark on the way to the bathroom at night.
Anyway, here are some images from the show!
Dylan did this silhouette of a woman in a bird costume. Isn’t it wonderful?
The bird we found on the street 3 years ago has finally graduated from our freezer to a jar. It is also very illegal for us to have it, so SHHHHH.
(I dropped the glass ball of quail eggs and spanish moss when I got home – shattered glass and shells everywhere. It was sad.)
Birds! I frantically finished up the tiny bird drawings in the paint pigment drawer the night before we put up the show.
Dylan’s paintings on the back wall
Eggs! Ostrich and quail encased in glass.
His name is Hooty.
Pigeon feathers collected in Greenpoint! It’s art! Also a turkey skull mounted on an antique brass dollhouse candlestick (at least that’s what the antique vendor said it was…)
Kill Devil Hill Presents:
By Michelle Enemark and Dylan Thuras
Opening : August 13th Friday 6pm-9pm
On View : August 13th – September 8th
“In the style of a cabinet of curiosities, Enemark and Thuras have carefully curated a new installation for the Widows Watch. Combining photography, drawings, sculptures and taxidermy, the two pay homage to our flying feather friends.” (via Kill Devil Hill)
I am so excited to announce the opening of a new exhibit I’ve been working on. Our favorite shop in Brooklyn, Kill Devil Hill, has recently transformed their intimate back room into an art salon and asked Dylan and I if we’d like to show some of our work there. After sharing total enchantment with David Attenborough’s Life of Birds, we decided to conjure up a wunderkammer of birds. I’ve got lots of different works in the show, from photography and drawings to some mixed media displays – and hopefully, if all goes well…my first attempt at a wet specimen. We’ll have some pieces from our collection on display as well.
Scroll down for a sneak peak of some work in the show. And please join us, this Friday, August 13 (Friday the 13th!) from 6-8. Hendrick’s gin will be sponsoring, so come sip a summer cocktail and enjoy some birds the way an 18th century gentleman naturalist might.
Kill Devil Hill is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on Franklin Street between Java and Kent. Just one block off the Greenpoint G train.
Allow me to present 1963′s “The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls, Volume 7: Nature and Science.” I am so smitten with these simple black line illustrations and their bright color accents. So bold! My favorite is the snake biting its tail in preparation, according to the text, to roll away when danger approaches and the caption, “This is something that snakes never really do” – too bad, because that would be awesome. Imagine a snake barreling towards you like a hoola hoop!
And of course, the narwhal…if there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I really REALLY love narwhals.
Actually, I also love the scientist “preparing questions for the brain machine.” I love how he looks kind of harried and tired, like he’s been up all night trying to stump the brain machine without success. Damn you, brain machine! Damn Yooooouuuu!
The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls
"Preparing questions for the brain machine"
How We Can Fly
"This is something snakes never really do"
How a Home Works