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You Won’t Believe What These Ultra-Realistic Skull Sculptures Are Made Of

Ashley Pridmore is obsessed with bones and skeletons. “A fascination with skeleton and frame propels the imagery of discarded human objects undergoing entropy, and speaks of the delicacy of the ecosystem trying to swallow the litter of mankind,” the artist and sculptor writes on her site. She likes decomposition, the fight between the natural world and our dumb little attempts to subdue it. Which leads us to these beautiful skeletons, sculpted out of papier mâché–a material that, by its nature, breaks down quickly.


Starting around three years ago, Pridmore began crafting sculptures like these as a means to an end. She considered herself primarily a sketch artist, and used the sculptures to come up with new ideas and see objects in different ways. But soon enough, they became compelling on their own. I asked her via email how she created them:

I make an armature out of foam for the larger pieces or thick paper for the smaller pieces, and then papier mache on top. Sometimes I use a paper clay for fine detailing. I’ve recently been exploring beeswax to bring out the patina, sort of like an encaustic painting.

The sculptures end up startlingly realistic and very beautiful in their attention to detail. You can see them and more of Pridmore’s work later this month at her opening at the Redbud Gallery in Houston, Texas.

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