Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Summer's Catch

Some of the finished products from our 2011 dig. Always exciting to find, then prep and now the restored beauty to @50million  fossil fish.
We are blessed to hang out with these pieces of antiquity: Left to right Mioplosus@12 inches,2 nice Priscacara@ 8 inches, Speckeled matrix with diagonal Diplomystus@6 inches, and @7 inch Sting ray inlaid in banded matrix.
 We continue to restore and prep smaller and broken samples. Nice to work inside the shop while it snows.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Kind Of Fish Is That???

This fish commerical reminded me of a fossil I collected.
Often we find things in pieces this one was in two pieces. The exposed tail was almost perfect, so one would hope the front would be equally as well preserved.
After uncovering the front portion it was apparent that mother nature caused this portion to explode. Disarticulating the head parts , backbone and body, yet one cn still see the body design.
The tail and the body are joined to make the fossil fish,over twelve inches of the predatory Mioplosus. Beautiful tail scrambled head make for an interesting design  showing the intricate fossilization process.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

As winter lingers the fossil fish get bigger

With 6-8 inches of nice fresh snow I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the project fossil fish completed winter 2010-11.
Group picture shows two nice sized Mioplosus,a smaller diver Mioplosus, a nice sized Priscacara and a juvenille Priscacara.It is awesome to find this type of fossil fish , fun to prepare and exciting  to see the finished product.
Each sample is unique! Seldom to you encounter one that is perfect,each has its history and need for some restoration.The goal is to restore to make them look as natural as possible.

It is hard to imagine how the small fry grow up to the adult without being consumed by Fossil Lakes predator,like the Mioplosus.
The Priscacara developed a nice defensive system with the spike fins on their back and bottom,extremely hard to swallow.
The predatory fish eating Mioplosus is very similar to todays bass, perch and walleye. This fossil fish is often found with small fish skeletons in the stomach area and with fossil fish lodged in it's throat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Minature Collection

four inch Phareodus
 It has been a thrill to find the infant fossil fish,the junveniles and the adults.I continue to discover new ways to display all varieties of fossil fish. My latest technique involves sizing down the fossil plates to fit this windowed display. I can display all the same species or I can create a minature collection.
This shows both the top and the front
Left side and front Diplomystus and Phareodus

Left side and back Hypcacantha and Diplymystus

Right side Knigthia and Hypcacantha
2.5 inch Phareodus on the front completes the five species series

Monday, November 1, 2010

Summer 2010 Huge slabs

The summer of 2010 flew by while digging for fossil fish in the Dempsey quarry,northwest of Kemmerer, Wyoming.
These pictures show the quarry wall and the largest single slabs I dug out this summer. Each slab was nearly three feet wide and six feet long. As I seperated them from the wall I had to tumble them to their resting place to dry in the sun. The slabs came in 1 1/2 to 3 inch thickness and they stayed together as I tumbled,drug and slid them around.
The final picture is a palm frond recovered from our dig that will be restored at a later time.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mioplosus,Restored and Framed

This was once a one piece specimen with minor restoration. It was sold and mailed by UPS to Texas, when the packing container was opened in Texas the fish was broken. Another replacement sample was agreed on and shipped out and the broken diver Mio came back to Wyoming.
The break was backed with birch plywood, glued in place , patching and restoration brought the fish back to near it's original beauty.
I decided to make a walnut frame to enhance and contrast the fish. The brass corner pieces added even another contrast.

The frame is @20 inches long and10 inches wide. The frame is @ 1 1/2 inches thick.

This fossil fish would look nice  on a small easel, leaned on a border, or hung from a secured wall hanger. I used 20 pound steel leaders for hanger wire which is screwed securely into the frame.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Knightia Motion Mural

I often get requests for murals of fossil fish, showing rhythmic motion or different species of fossil fish, yet another favorite is the predatory chasing it's prey, finally the request for aquatic plants or palm pieces and a fish aquarium setting.
These are sometimes inspiring piece but they require so much time in gathering the specimens, arranging, cutting to size, preparing the specimens, backing and gluing into place, grouting the seams, sealing, framing and then making the shipping container. It is little wonder that they are expensive, yet a wonderful investment in natures antiquities.

This was a requested mural showing Knightia in a rhythmic setting, surrounds by a cherry wood frame. The fish plates were glued to a 3/4 inch piece of birch plywood, grouted the seams, then framed.
the frame size is 27 inches long X  7 1/2 inches in width 2 1 1/2 inches thick.

The back is secured by two plate and is equipped for wall hanging.

The plate would be a showy piece on a wall  or could be shown on an easel.

This was an enjoyable project during our monsoonal season in May.