Where do you get your skulls?
The skulls that I work on come from a number of sources. Currently I am working with a Taxidermist that provides me legal and ethically sourced skulls. We both obtain the required permits from Environment Canada. I also get my skulls from trappers, farmers, nature enthusiasts and what I am able to find myself. The level of processing varies based on where the skull comes from and the cost of the skull is added to the listing price.
How many hours do you spend on the mandalas?
Each piece varies but on average I spend anywhere from 20-80 hours completing mandalas on animal skulls. The larger mandalas on paper took approximately 127 hours for the large and 55 for the small. These are approximate numbers since I often lose track of time while I am working. When I start on a piece, it usually takes weeks to finish since I will pick it up and work on it whenever I have some spare time. I do have a life as well but because of some health issues I face, I will work on the mandalas when I don’t feel well enough to go anywhere and the process helps me feel better.
Why did you decided to put mandalas on all your pieces?
I started doing mandalas 4 years ago and they have changed substantially over time. I enjoy the peaceful feeling of doing the mandalas and find it very healing. Each mandala is unique and not planned. I start with a small circle in the middle and gradually build the structure of the mandala outward. I use simple designs and turn off my mind as I create. I decided to add mandalas to skulls because I feel like it is a way to honour the lives of the animals. Mandalas are sacred and a lot of energy goes into making them. When they are on the skull, I feel they draw out the divinity that was inherent in the animal that has passed.
Where are you selling your art?
Currently, I have pieces at Crystal Cove (Saskatoon) but the majority of my sales happen through Instagram, Facebook, my etsy page and my website. I have attended some craft shows but find that it is difficult to find a show that fits well with the skulls. I plan on attending more over the next few months to gain more exposure. I also have prints of my mandalas available online and am hoping to create some of the mandalas on different mediums like cloth for wall hangings.
Do you commission pieces?
I have completed many commissions and welcome the opportunity to do more. I enjoy a challenge so if someone has an idea of what they would like for a piece, I will consider if it is something I feel I could do well and then most likely take it on. If someone has their own skull then I may whiten it so that the art shows up well or clean it if that is required. The price for commissions is based on any processing I have to do, supplies, and the hours that I spend creating.
What kind of skulls can you get?
If a skull is not listed here ~ just let me know and I will see if I can get it.
Goat, coyote, fox, bear, wolf, beaver, martin, deer, bison, rabbit, cow
What permits are required to purchase and sell skulls?
I work closely with the Ministry of Environment to obtain the necessary permits to buy skulls, advertise them and sell them. There is no cost for permits but there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be filled out. When purchasing a skull that requires a permit, you will receive a copy of the sale of wildlife permit and an export permit if necessary.