These aren't your grandmother's tchotchkes: Since 1992, artist Jessica Joslin has been creating detailed sculptures by hand out of pieces of found antiques and the bones of various animals, including monkeys, birds, cats, and bats.
Inspired by Victorian-era ornamentation and mid-16th century cabinets of curiosities known as "Wunderkammer," Joslin's animal sculptures—or "pets," as she calls them—manage to be creepy and playful at the same time. A self-taught anatomy enthusiast, Joslin creates the bodies out of bone, brass, antique parts, and found metal, crafting creatures big and small that she says "reflect both the real and the imagined animal, the living and the dead."
In an interview with Hi Fructose, Joslin described her work as a "finely-calibrated trinity of considerations: aesthetic, engineering, and anatomical." She added that while she is "referencing specific structures, and usually from the species that I am depicting," none of her pieces are meant to replicate any living animal's anatomy. "I figure that since it’s my world, I get to make the rules ... also, more generally speaking, in my work, I’m always representing interior and exterior anatomy simultaneously. One line of a form might delineate the belly and another, the ribcage. Of course, you wouldn’t typically see both at the same time, so it creates a sort of double vision between the skeletal anatomy and the structure of the living animal."
Check out some of Jessica Joslin's work below, and head to her website for more images from her collection.
All images via Jessica Joslin