In the fall of 2010 I also worked on a large sculpture of a prehistoric predator called a hyenadon. This animal was a member of a group of carnivores called credonts, that no longer exist today. I was able to combine the features of modern day predators like lions, bears, and hyenas, to recreate this massive animal.
This piece was made using the solid building technique again. I also made the sculpting cart using plywood and large caster wheels to help me move the piece around in my studio and get it to the kilns. A lot of paddling and carving was used to rough out this initial form. The piece was then cut into multiple sections, hollowed out and reattached.
This piece took about a week to construct solid, and then 3 weeks to hollow out. The detail work over the surface included a lot of embellishments and texture from press molds and slip cast animal bones. In the surface of this piece there is an element of the cult of remembrance. This is a strong idea in romanticism that sees death as a part of nature that balances life.
The Komo Society masks of the Bamana people in Africa were a large part of the inspiration for this piece. Each mask is made using a collection of items over time. So bone, horns, hair, or claws, make the object more powerful as they’re added. These masks are also used in the trials of criminals and to keep order in the society. In the same way, I wanted this piece to collect the bones of other animals over time, adding to its power as a predator.