Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Really the Holidays Now!

It really starts to feel like the holidays for me right after Thanksgiving. My grandmother always used to take the turkey carcass and make turkey soup, and it's a tradition I carry on - right down to the Tabasco! Something about the soup bubbling on the stove says, "Yup. It's really the Holidays now!"

Of course, the thing I do that my grandmother never did is save the bones and use them in art.

In a previous post, someone asked about preparing the bones. I'm still in the process of perfecting my technique - and I have to admit that I would love to have a box of flesh eating beetles (like they use on Bones) for Christmas! But, for now, I'll just give you a quick description of how I do it . . . and if you've got any suggestions, let me know!

  1. Boil the turkey - this helps get the flesh off the bones, and gives you a great broth. Be careful not to boil it for too long, though, as this can bring the yellow fats in bone to the surface and leave you with greasy bones - usually, I bring it to a boil, then let it simmer.
  2. Run cool water over the bones and clean the last of the meat and flesh off with your fingers.
  3. Mix about a cup of bleach in one or two gallons of water and let the bones soak in it for a few hours. Remove, rinse, and let the bones air dry. Again, I'm still working this out . . . if there's too much bleach, or you leave it in too long, it can make the bone brittle and powdery.
  4. Once the bones are dry, I seal them with a matte gel medium or a matte spray sealant. Then, they go in the art. Fun!


gl. said...

yay! i love that bones can be a holiday post. thanks for the tip about boiling too long.

Dayna Collins said...

Hahahahaha, only assemblage artists can appreciate a "recipe" for drying bones to perfection!