Autumn is here which means everyone is getting out for those last-minute adventures before hibernating for the winter. You never quite know what you’ll find in your wanderings. Maybe you’ll just see a squirrel. Maybe you’ll run across a chipmunk or two. Or maybe, just maybe, if you look hard enough, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Little Grimling. Fiber artist Elizabeth Skinner has been studying these unusual critters for years. To date, they have discovered many species of Grimlings in the wild. While many are similar in size and stature, each unique species lives in a drastically different habitat. From nurse logs in the forest to barren mountain peaks to the bottom of the sea, the world is fraught with these diverse and elusive creatures. Such a broad variety of habitats means that each Grimling has developed strange characteristics. Some strains form symbiotic relationships with the mushrooms that grow from their fur; others stalk the depths of the ocean, covered in barnacles, their bioluminescent faces glowing in the murky waters.
Each specimen is hand sewn, hand sculpted, and hand painted. Though similar to other specimens, no two Grimlings are exactly alike. Every one-of-a-kind piece is numbered and indicates the order in which they were crafted. These “faux-taxidermy” pieces are made from polymer clay, faux fur, dryer sheets, wire, wood, and any other materials artist Elizabeth Skinner has at their disposal.
Ready to take a look at these fascinating cryptids for yourself? Come visit the Tacoma Art Museum store throughout October and November 2019 to check out our adorably-macabre menagerie. We are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. You can also send us an email at MuseumStore@TacomaArtMuseum.org or call us at (253) 272-4258 x3005.