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SciArt of the Day: Heavily Armored Hallucigenia

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Hallucigenia © Darrell Markewitz, The Wareham Forge


Hallucigenia side view © Darrell Markewitz, The Wareham Forge

Ancient technologies on the human scale can be in danger of being lost, buried under the sedimentary layers of modern life. Blacksmiths like Darrell Markewitz of The Wareham Forge keep these technologies alive, not just in words and study, but in his hands. An expert in blacksmithing including Bronze Age and Viking technologies, Darrell from time to time draws his inspiration from further in the past – by several orders of magnitude.

Above are two photos of Darrell’s Hallucigenia, based on the genus of fossil from the Burgess Shale. Named after its dreamlike appearance, it was not initially clear which way Hallucigenia stood: what was the dorsal side? Where was the head?

Juxtaposing the dreamy appearance of the fossil with the hard edges of forged metal, Darrell’s sculpture stands as an anachronistic beauty bringing together technology from one age, and the organism from another in a way that could only happen in our modern culture.

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Hallucigenia by Darrell Markewitz, The Wareham Forge

2009, forged metals, approx. 3′ long, 12″ high.

You can read more about Darrell’s series of forged sculptures in the Echoes of the Burgess Shale series here and here.

The Wareham Forge

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All through September, we’re bringing you new science-art of the day, challenging ideas about science communication.

Glendon Mellow About the Author: Glendon Mellow is a fine artist, illustrator and tattoo designer working in oil and digital media based in Toronto, Canada. He tweets @FlyingTrilobite and is on Instagram. You can see Glendon's work-in-progress at The Flying Trilobite blog and portfolio at Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. TikiCosmonaut 3:54 pm 09/19/2012


    Link to this
  2. 2. Glendon Mellow 10:53 am 09/23/2012

    Isn’t it though? I had a hard time choosing which piece to show. There’s crinoids, ancient crabs, tons of amazing artistry.

    Link to this

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