Stylemys extinct tortoise
White River Formation
35 Million years old
Found in Sioux County, NE
This mosaic sculpture was created from the field jacket of an extinct Stylemys tortoise leg 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 on display in the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, WY.
This mosaic is entitled Slick, created from my pit-fired pottery that had broken or that I broke for this sculpture. Slick, the traveling cat comes to stay with us when her humans are out of town. She is very loving and one afternoon while I was snuggling with her in a patch of sunlight on the bed, I was awe-inspired to create a mosaic. As a result of a lot of chin-scratching and purring, “Slick” is modeled after her nose and whiskers. Her fur is gradated light to dark out from her nose, and out of each patch of dark fur, came a whisker.
In my Dinosaur Mosaics use reclaimed materials that allow new life for things others have deemed trash. They fulfill my need to save everything I possibly can from the dump. I also like the idea that my creations have inspired friends to start cleaning up the prairie, beach, or wherever they are, by bringing me small bits of broken pottery, glass and rusty objects or use in my creations.
Special thanks to J-P Cavigelli and Russell Hawley, Tate Geological Museum, Casper College, WY