Creature Feature: Lagartos

Lagarto I, II, III (Swedish Magnolia Melon), 2016
Stainless steel
6.5” x 18” x 11”
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Each Lagarto is a combination of three different textures, stemmed from three different sources: a magnolia leaf, a tree knot and a cantaloupe melon.

The magnolia leaf makes up the body and the head of each figure. I had to make two different molds of the leaves, one larger and one smaller, to get the correct scale. Initially when making the mold, I made it with the stem side in, but then I decided I wanted the stem side out so you could visibly see how the leaf stem mimics that boney vertebrate of the actual lizard.

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The tree knot was a present given to me by a friend while in Sweden for a wedding at a traditional fishing village. Initially, I thought it looked like a bird’s eye (and I still do), but I wasn’t sure how I was going use it, which by now we all know is usually the case! It was small enough for me to take home with me to save for that lightbulb idea moment.


The third and final texture derives from a cantaloupe melon. I was literally eating breakfast one day and noticed the interesting texture of the melon. Goes to show what can happen during mundane daily activities if you pay a little attention! At first I didn’t associated the melon with a lizard in the obvious sense, but I knew that if I used it in the context of the sculptures, viewers would accept it and make  their own associations. This assumption falls in line with my theory that as humans, we are far more likely to accept an unknown that it presented within a known vehicle. In essence, we don’t like too many surprises all at once!


Lagartos were created simultaneously with my Bird sculpture (next blog). I didn’t necessarily start out with lizards in mind, but it’s interesting how it morphed, especially when you consider the close association of lizards and birds.


I made three because in all honesty, they were easy to make. But then I saw this ease as an opportunity to show various movements and assign poses to the Lagartos.

The other day I was at a friends house hanging out while her kids played with my dog and I watched a lizard puffing out his jowls (they do this to protect territory and attract a mate). I made a mental note of the fact that this probably where I got the idea as you will see my lizards have that puffed out jowl look. I did not do that on purpose so much as I was working and out it came. It’s like a seed planted in your subconscious, and at the time, I didn’t realize I was harvesting that particular idea.