Recycling Materials into One of a Kind Dinosaur Mosaics

Categorized | Lifestyle, Products, Recycled Materials


Jodie Atherton has an artistic ceramics studio in Laramie, WY where she creates mixed media sculptures incorporating recycled materials into hand crafted ceramic figures and mosaics.
Dreams was created from the field jacket this extinct Slylemys tortoise found in Sioux County, NE in the White River Formation. Krumholtz was created from the field jacket of this Triceratops scapula. GRET, the name of this particular Triceratops, now lives on display at the Casper College Tate Geological Museum. Slick was created from the field jacket from this extinct Slylemys tortoise leg found in Sioux County, NE in the White River Formation.
This is Jodie’s “Dinosaur Mosaic” line. The mosaics are created on top of a plaster jacket that was used to transport dinosaur bones and other fragile fossils home from a field site to a museum prep lab. A plaster jacket is made by first placing a layer of aluminum foil on top of the fossil to protect it. Strips of burlap are dipped in plaster, layered on top of each other and when hardened and solidified, the plaster jacket and fossil are shoveled or pried out of the ground as one, and transported to the fossil preparator. The fossils that come out of the jackets are in museums or private collections all over Wyoming and the country.
Most of the “Dinosaur Mosaics” are created with hand made pottery (mostly her own). She uses her broken pottery, prairie glass and other cast-offs in the process. They are truly “green” creations as they are made from totally recycled materials. Interestingly enough, some of the materials in her artwork are scavenged from old dumps or trash middens on the prairie around the state. In Jodie‘s artworks, anything “broken” finds new life. Nothing is mass-produced and it took millions of years, many hands, and many broken pots and tiles to create these mosaics.
Having excavated fossils with paleontologist friends for over 3 decades, Jodie understands that Wyoming was very warm, even semitropical, for millions of years. The last ice age left us roughly 15,000 years ago, a time that saw vast glaciers extending into much of the lower 48 states. Jodie is creating joyful art from a time when the earth was much warmer, when large ice caps didn’t exist, when shallow seas extended into much of what we now call the USA. She likes water and she’s an artist. Her father, husband, and many close friends are scientists. They find common ground in her art works. Enjoy.
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