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This mosaic sculpture was created from the field jacket of an extinct Stylemys tortoise found in Sioux County, NE in the White River Formation.  The White River Formation is a sandstone and mudstone formation containing many vertebrate species that were deposited approximately 35 million years ago when western Nebraska was continuing to cool from the very warm early Eocene Epoch into, as represented here, the more ecologically diverse Oligocene Epoch.  Picture at this time some deciduous trees and expansion of grasslands.  This Stylemys tortoise ate plants and insects. This fossil is held in a private collection.

Dinosaur Mosaics are one-of-a-kind sculptures that are about recycling, history, and the melding of art and science. I created this mosaic on a plaster jacket used to transport a fossil safely from the field, back to a museum prep lab. Creating a truly “green” sculpture I used broken, hand made pottery (my own broken creations of a time gone by), in the creation of the mosaic. My creations keep paleontology cast-offs and broken pottery out of the landfill. By bringing science cast-offs and broken pottery together into mosaics, the end product is my artwork, intended to create beauty from no longer wanted, broken, or otherwise un-useful objects. Nothing mass-produced here. A piece of history, millions of years for the fossil to form and be found, my hands to create and use pottery, and ultimately break it, in the creation of this mosaic.

Special thanks to J-P Cavigelli and Russell Hawley, Tate Geological Museum, Casper College, WY

Stylemys tortoise

Found in Sioux County, NE

White River Formation, 35 million years old

Oligocene Epoch

This specimen is in a private collection