“Mermaid Awakening”
Edmontosaurus hadrosaur jaw

Lance Formation

65 million years old

Found in Niobrara County, WY

Cretaceous Period

This mosaic sculpture was created from the field jacket of an Edmontosauraus hadrosaur jaw found in Niobrara County, WY in the Lance Formation. The Lance Formation is a sedimentary layer formed approximately 65 million years ago when eastern Wyoming was a subtropical coastal plain at the edge of the Western Interior Seaway around the end of the Cretaceous period, a period famous for both the appearance of flowering plants and the mass extinction of dinosaurs. One of the largest of the hadrosaurs, the Edmontosauraus was around 43 ft long and weighed over 4 tons, possessed a skull that resembled a modern-day duck, and a jaw with 6 rows of teeth which were replaceable much like those of modern-day sharks. Since freshwater animals are uncovered in the Lance Formation, the creative transformation of this dinosaur jaw field jacket into a sensual transition between marine and coastline ecosystems in “Mermaid Awakenings” seems fitting.

Dinosaur Mosaics are about recycling. I create them on plaster jackets that were used to transport fossils safely from the field, back to a lab. The pottery in these sculptures was all broken or chipped, virtually no new materials were used but glue and grout. All but a few bits of the pottery in “Mermaid Awakenings” were all my own creations that got broken or chipped over the years. 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. I designed the stand for this piece to mimic an ocean bed of seaweed and kelp for the mermaid to float upon. It was created at Raw Urth in Fort Collins, CO.

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