On Washed Ashore

The Denver Zoo recently had a traveling exhibit called “Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea.” I had seen the banners for it while driving and we finally got the chance to go about three days before it ended its residency.

From their website: “Washed Ashore builds and exhibits aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and waterways and spark positive changes in consumer habits.”

The pieces? Are stunning. I took photos of almost every piece at the zoo (missed one behind glass) and I’ve included my favorites here.

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I adore this marlin.

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The jellyfish in the background is almost all entirely water bottles. Insane.

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Gorgeous parrotfish.

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Close-up. The artistry that went into these is amazing.

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Shark.

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Shark close-up.

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Turtle out of cans.

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Salmon.

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American sea star. In USA colors to bring attention to firework debris.

As I said, the exhibit is no longer in Denver, but they currently also have pieces in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (which might be permanent?). They are also coming soon to the Science Museum of Virginia (Richmond, Va.), Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium (Tacoma, Wash.), and Reiman Gardens (Ames, Ia.).

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Creativity Corner: Stuffed Fishy

Like me when I was once young, my niece Amelia loves fish and fishy things. I was obsessed once upon a time, owning somewhere around 11 plush killer whales, seven dolphins, eels, various other whales, lobsters, crabs, sharks, penguins, other fish, walruses … you name it, I probably had it in stuffed form.

Since I’m trying to force myself to tap into my creative side a bit more, I decided to make Amelia a plush fish for Christmas. I knew she had some of her own from other places, but I thought a handmade gift from her aunt might be pretty cool.

So, I went through my fabric, picked out two (one for the body and one for the fins), drew a very basic outline of how I wanted it to look … and went from there.

This fish …

– is NOT from a pattern
– is entirely hand-sewn (no sewing machines over here)
– took me way longer to make than I thought

That last point brings me to why I’m actually posting about this now – I finished the damn thing about two weeks ago. Oops.

Still, I’m pretty proud with how it turned out. I may do things differently in the future regarding the attachment of the tail and top fin, and maybe buy buttons for the eyes as the sequins are probably not the most permanent choice. In any case, Nicole (my sister-in-law) has told me she loves it, so that’s the most important thing.

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Side one.

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Side two. As you can see, the side fins aren’t quite uniform …

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Tail detail.

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Head detail.