Dodos Ex Machina

This is a photograph of the first Dodo bird I ever carved. I made this sculpture in obsidian, and carved it by removing material, using diamonds and water. It represents a Dodo Bird nesting on a machine. This sculpture has a kinetic element as, when one tips the work, an egg pops out of the other side of the machine. At the time I thought reverse engineering dodos would be a way to resurrect the species. This sculpture resides in the collection of my very excellent friend, Ralfe Whistler. If you want to see this sculpture you must travel to Battle, in England, and visit Dodo House. Further, I can lay it out cold for the institutions, with all due respect to the late Hilaire Belloc, this one's mine.

The Last Dodo:
The Dodo (raphus cucullatus) became extinct by the end of the 1600's. Although the exact date The last dodo died is unknown, the last intact specimen was consigned to flames in ignorance, at THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM, Oxford 1755.

was it shabby and rotten, was it creepy and rude ?
was the curator just in, a house cleaning mood ?

was it bad taxidermy, was it dusty and old ?
was it flea bitten, mangy or covered with mold ?

was it really subversive, was it smelly and putrid ?
was it aesthetically weak, were the trustees all stupid ?

all questions have answers, but we'll likely get spurned...
if at Oxford, we ask, Why the Dodo got burned ?

Rhyme published in

-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats


The Malleus Maleficarum...an objective review

What is this occult objet d'art, Livres d'artiste, perhance a book review ? Which witch, which hammer, which witch hammer ? My ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ is a review of the 15th century classic, ‘The Malleus Maleficarum’ (the Witches' Hammer ). This book was written by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger and published in 1484 by THE HOLY SEE. Written in response to a general clamor, to get all of the disruption of medieval witch burning under control, this work provided a perfectly horrible bureaucratic solution. By codifying an official doctrine, for dealing with those persons accused of witchcraft, the church inadvertently provided a systematic method for human extermination. With the blessings of the church, the inquisitors were absolved from personal culpability in the torture and killing of the accused, the atrocities committed against the accused were interpreted as acts of divine mercy. I believe that those accused of witchcraft might well have felt a little differently about the situation...and perhaps those ladies could have used a little something in their defense, a right proper witches' hammer...This image presents such a thing, a representation of the pagan god Pan, carved by my hand from a 12 oz ESTWING hammer, an 18 karat gold detail separates the unbreakable steel shaft from the leather handle. The end normally reserved for hitting nails is decorated by an 18 k gold bezel containing a fat round garnet. The stone would snap under about 20 lbs of pressure. However, the horned end could be used to some considerable effect, against an inquisitor, an objet d'art for the purpose of self defense.
* Read The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger
** Search ‘Acta Apostolicae Sedis’ , in the Vatican archives to review Church's formal apology.
***A little more reading on the topic of Witchcraft.****The gold details on this piece were completed in collaboration with the excellent goldsmith, my friend Karen Morrow.
-Copy Cats are Dirty Rats


The Common Toad (Bufo Americanus)


Deride not this ugly American, as even toads are beautiful...if one takes the time to notice. Not to be confused with ‘Mr Toad’; this work is an actual sized * representation of the common toad, in Russian nephrite, carved by my hand using diamonds and water. I've always been struck by the beauty of amphibian eyes, the solution to these eyes was found in construction and inlay,18 karat gold bezel** and Black jadeite from Guatemala. The Nephrite was a gift from my friend Dr Morley Lipsett. This exquisite creature resides in the excellent collection of my friends the Knox's.

* 1:1 scale representation
**The gold details on this piece were completed in collaboration with goldsmith, Karen Morrow.

-© Robert Chaplin admmx. copy cats are dirty rats