Tiny Skulls and otherwise
July 25, 2018 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Mefi’s komara has been sculpting tiny skulls and leaving them out in public as free art for people to find and claim. [via mefi projects]
In November of last year I thought, "It's time to start a new hobby" and I landed on sculpting with polymer clay. I finished my first tutorial, a human head, and as a celebration project I made a goofy little skull. A friend said, "If you make another one can I have it?" and I thought, "Why would I ever make more than one?"

Fast forward to today, seven months later, where making skulls is all I think about. I make one or two every few days. As I go out to do things here in New Orleans I hide them in various places and post hints on my Instagram and / or my Twitter account. It's become a strange and unexpected success, with the last several pieces each having been snatched up in under half an hour.
posted by not_the_water (47 comments total) 80 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is amazing and I am now going to be looking for skulls everywhere.
posted by tryniti at 11:15 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Damn dude, those are some mighty fine skulls.
posted by gwint at 11:16 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


These are terrific!
posted by mochapickle at 11:16 AM on July 25


I love skulls and these are indeed fantastic.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:20 AM on July 25


The one with the crown! Love!
posted by 41swans at 11:27 AM on July 25 [5 favorites]


These are gorgeous and if I found one it would make my day week month. Thank you for making the world a little bit weirder!
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:30 AM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Oh my God I just saw that shift knob. Please open an Etsy, I will pay you to be-toothen everything I own.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:32 AM on July 25 [7 favorites]


Now I have a tiny Danzig singing his hit, "Tiny Skulls"
posted by NoMich at 11:32 AM on July 25


omg I love this, that is the best project ever!
posted by sciatrix at 11:36 AM on July 25


This is my new favourite thing! I loooove tiny skulls, I would also be all-over an etsy. The snail-skull disturbs me though, and I love snails. Not sure if I hate it or want it desperately.
posted by stillnocturnal at 11:50 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Wow. These are beautiful. I am 100% in favor of this project!
posted by Sophie1 at 11:50 AM on July 25


I LOVE those. They're so well done and the material looks so cool. I'd be delighted if I found one, but I'd figure someone lost their treasure so I'd just take a picture and move on.
posted by Stonkle at 11:51 AM on July 25


tiny Danzig singing his hit, "Tiny Skulls"

Hold me closer, tiny Danzig.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:51 AM on July 25 [24 favorites]


Those are great!
posted by praemunire at 12:25 PM on July 25


These are awesome.

I like this one: deadly toadstool

Insert death cap joke here.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:40 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Neat.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:45 PM on July 25


Oh, mistersc! I knew you have some crafting chops for your Krewe, and are these are just delightful!
I'd totally be looking for them all the time if I was anywhere near you!
posted by gemmy at 12:48 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


These are awesome. I would love to stumble on one someday.
posted by Mchelly at 12:57 PM on July 25


OK but seriously what's the deal with the witch marbles?
posted by rebent at 1:19 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


Let me third the request for an Etsy. I too would be all over these.
posted by SonInLawOfSam at 1:27 PM on July 25


He's a skullptor.

(These are SO beautiful.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:40 PM on July 25 [9 favorites]


I collect skulls. I need these.
posted by Splunge at 2:10 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


This is fucking awesome and fantastic. I love it.

At the moment there's a pretty decent rock painting thing happening locally which I enjoy. Now I'm thinking about maybe trying to do some tiny gnomes with polymer clay.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 2:12 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Please come to New Jersey and hide one just for me.
posted by lyssabee at 2:17 PM on July 25


I want one.
posted by 4ster at 2:32 PM on July 25


A++ I collect skulls and these are magnificent specimens. Splunge and I can armwrestle over them.
posted by PussKillian at 2:37 PM on July 25 [2 favorites]


These are so cool. I love how well they seem to mesh with the cultures of New Orleans too (at least my mental image of it--I haven't had a chance to visit yet).
posted by Pfardentrott at 3:16 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


It's hard to pick faves, but if I had to, I'd choose these.
posted by doctornemo at 3:20 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


So cool!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 3:30 PM on July 25


Everything is great, but the bell jar was perfect.
posted by Marky at 3:38 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Love these! Love the idea of hiding them with clues. Its no wonder people are grabbing them up, they're fantastic!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 4:09 PM on July 25


Ooooh I love skulls and I really love these skulls!

What a clever project with an interesting evolution.

+1 vote for making them commercially available!
posted by danabanana at 4:14 PM on July 25 [3 favorites]


Very cool idea and even cooler execution. The skulls are awesome.

An oversized mouse skull would make an amusing contrast to the set.
posted by biogeo at 4:18 PM on July 25


I like skulls, I'm using one right now, and the macabre, and making at and surprising people with it. These are so cool, thanks do much for sharing this.
posted by theora55 at 4:49 PM on July 25


A++ I collect skulls and these are magnificent specimens. Splunge and I can armwrestle over them.
posted by PussKillian


As a fellow skull collector perhaps we may find a pair and share.

If not, it's on!
posted by Splunge at 4:58 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Wow. Hi everyone! I am flattered that these are so well-received. I never in my wildest dreams thought so many people would be interested in this hobby that started out as a way to take my mind off of ... you know, everything. I would never have thought to post about it to Projects if it weren't for this MetaTalk post about updating (and relaxing) the guidelines. I absolutely didn't think that it'd get posted to the Blue.

I have to admit that the "hide stuff and post clue pics on Instagram" idea came directly from local candle company Flambeauxs. For months I had watched their giveaways and never been near or never been able to figure out the clues. One Sunday my wife and I were lying in bed being lazy and I said, "Oh hey look this candle company I follow on Instagram posted a picture of one of their giveaways and they just said "Broad St." (which is near our house) as the clue." My wife who is a champion at lazy Sunday times surprised the heck out of me by throwing off the blankets and saying, "LET'S GO FIND IT!" and that was the moment I realized just how powerful and fun the giveaway hunt could be. We found the candle, by the way. That was the day we became winners.

Months later when I found myself with a small surplus of skulls, after having gifted them to most of my co-workers and nearby friends, I thought, "Well let me just take a page out of Flambeauxs' book and hide one for fun." I blatantly stated the location - my local library branch because I love my local library branch - and it was gone within a half hour. I was hooked, and now here we are. I'm actually going out tonight to hide one after I stop at the craft store for more clay.

> I will pay you to be-toothen everything I own.

I have already be-toothened everything I own. That's where I started with the polymer clay - I needed something to hold the teeth. After I ran out of ideas for things to toothen I thought, "Well maybe this clay itself could be fun."

> I'd be delighted if I found one, but I'd figure someone lost their treasure so I'd just take a picture and move on.

This right here is the reason I decided to get a logo and place tags with everything I hide. I didn't want anyone not taking a skull home for fear of it being someone else's possession. I know I would feel that way if I found something like this. It probably wouldn't stop me from taking it, but I'd feel guilty I guess.

Bonus trivia: the logo is a blatant ripoffparody of a local bread company's logo and probably instantly recognizable to most New Orleanians.

> Oh, mistersc! I knew you have some crafting chops for your Krewe, and are these are just delightful!

Gemmy, you're the best. Thank you.

(for reference: every year for Mardi Gras I make a new papier-mache skull head for the krewe with which I parade. Here's a composite image that I made of my first six years' worth of heads.)

> Now I'm thinking about maybe trying to do some tiny gnomes with polymer clay.

I am 100% for this idea and I hope you go through with it and enjoy the feeling of livening up the world around you. If you do it please let me know because I'll want to see them and share in your excitement.

> Please come to New Jersey and hide one just for me.

I wish I could. I'm going on another vacation soon and absolutely will bring some with me. Unfortunately it is not a vacation to New Jersey. If, however, you're near Santa Fe ...

okay this got longer than I meant for it to. Thank you all again! I really appreciate your interest in this strange hobby of mine. Also, for everyone that left some comment about selling or Etsy: I wish I were wired that way so I could satisfy all your cravings. However, back when I was doing photography on the regular I found that the fastest way for me to kill the joy of one of my projects was to start getting money involved. I took one commission job with the skulls, the Universal Monsters and it was hard. Even though the client was fantastic I struggled more with them than anything I've done, and I don't want to go through that again. I'll just enjoy the excitement of being a source of random art in this world.
posted by komara at 5:30 PM on July 25 [37 favorites]


Wow! You are a wonderful artist making wonderful art (AND hanging out on the wonderful Metafilter).

Mrs. Jabo and I are artists and understand the thin line between creativity and making a living. It's hard to make things on demand rather than where the spirit takes you. We try to chose the latter but we've learned to put up with the former to a certain extent. You gotta make some compromises especially if you want to be an artist. That said, your having fun. That also has a lot of worth.

Oh, and we live in Santa Fe.
posted by jabo at 5:52 PM on July 25


💀💀💀
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Holy crap I want a whole bunch of these SO BAD.
posted by sarcasticah at 7:21 PM on July 25


Where's the mini cross bones?
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 PM on July 25


[this is good] [this might be adorable]
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:44 PM on July 25


Komara, I get it—the fastest way to ruin creativity is to designate it as a job. Please keep doing what you clearly do best and keep money away. Your skulls are too pure for price.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:34 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


> I'm actually going out tonight to hide one after I stop at the craft store for more clay.

I just wanted to follow up on this to say that it was my favorite experience yet. There's a guy who a few days ago was just a few minutes too late to find one - he sent me a pic of the empty spot where it used to be. Now his mom's in town and the two of them arrived in time to find last night's skull[*]. If you look at the second pic here you can see her just a moment after she found it. He said she's "beyond happy" and that she's taking it back to Miami with her.

I spent a lot of time last night thinking about that. Somehow I did that. I don't even know how that works.
posted by komara at 9:11 AM on July 26 [15 favorites]


I never thought I'd find skulls charming. These are delightfully charming!
posted by like_neon at 8:32 AM on July 27 [1 favorite]


I just checked out your Instagram and you have exactly 666 followers, so I'm sorry but I can't follow you now, although I'd love to.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 2:54 PM on July 27 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of the time I went to a Beltane party where they wanted to make Sculpey genitalia. I offered to bake them but ah, some folks never picked them up and after a few years, I decided to dispose of them by scattering them through an arboretum (also around Beltane). I put notes on them saying that if this wasn't your thing just put it back for someone else, but they seemed to go pretty fast too.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:42 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


I love that you are doing this!!!
posted by xammerboy at 11:25 PM on July 30


« Older "That’s just the nature of predators."   |   The nights will flame with fire Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.