Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History
Deep Time Exhibit
We were commissioned to create a series of bronzes for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History for the 2019 Deep Time Exhibit at the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils. The challenge with this project was to create animals from very limited fossil remains and to create a sculpture that was lifelike and believable. After extensive research and working with the paleontologists at the Smithsonian, we were able to sculpt our models, some of which have never been sculpted before. We enjoyed our experience of this collaborative work and feel the the end results show that experience.
Triisodon resting. The unique pose and unusual proportions of this animal made it a special challenge to sculpt. It's known from remains from the Paleocene of New Mexico. Although its exact relationships to extinct and extant mammals are unknown, it may be part of the stem froup that led to the Artiodactyl ungulates.
Tetraclaenodon trotting. Paleocene from Canada. This animal displays an interesting mix of primitive and derived features for a Paleocene herbivore. Although it had a long, heavy tail and five digits on each forelimb, the first and fifth digits show clear reduction and the long, muscular limbs would have made it a swift runner.
Steropodon, a Cretaceous monotreme. The only known fossilized remains are a single opalized jaw and three molars from NSW, Australia. This sculpture in particular was an extreme challenge; we were asked to create a sculpture "out of focus" to represent the limited knowledge of this specimen. After many designs, we settled on a pixelated look that we were able to achieve by scanning the sculpture and digitally altering it, then 3D printing a copy before bronzing.