Things In Jars: New Post, New Look, New Jar

*Wipes dust off jar, opens lid and takes a whiff of contents*

Woah! Little past the expiry date eh? I think we need a fresh one yes? What do you think?

So this is the official Things In Jars relaunch. Since my last post, DelToroFilms.com itself has also gotten a bit of a facelift and now new Jars’ posts will now appear right on the front page :D
(Thanks Parker!)

The Blogspot site will be maintained as sort of an archive site, aside from DelToroFilms itself.

I’ve gone on quite a few adventures over the last little while (with more coming up) and have lots of great GDT and SFX related tidbits to share.

So, in honour of the relaunch of Things In Jars how about a story about … things in jars.

At the end of January last year I was in London, England on what I dubbed my “BPRD Euro Tour” (for reasons that will become clearer in the future) and at one point I found myself at the Natural History Museum. After giggling like a small child through the corridors filled with dinosaurs, Mary Anning’s marine fossils (The tongue twister “She Sells Seashells” is about Mary Anning), gawking at the Blue Whale skeleton, and ooh-ing over the extensive bird collections there was only one wing (no pun intended) of the building left unvisited. I stepped inside – and burst out laughing (this is when the other tourists start giving you a wide birth folks, when you start laughing all by yourself. The downside of traveling alone!)

The whole wing was nothing but things in jars!

Like this:

Squid In A Jar

And this:

Prawns in a jar
Prawns in a jar! :D

Now, I can’t say that prior to becoming a GDT fan, I had much of an affinity for “things in jars”. The handful of preserved specimens I’d encountered in the past used to strike me as more than a little bit… icky. Skin colours fade, bodies gets squished and compacted, any sort of damage to the specimen gets magnified. They aren’t necessarily what I would deem “pretty”.

Giant Squid bits in a jar
Bizarre yes, grotesque yes, cool definitely – this is part of a giant squid! – but definitely not “pretty”

Those weren’t the only things in jars I saw on that trip. These were in a museum in Lyon, France, about a week earlier…

Snakes in jar
At least this time I wasn’t alone – my best friend was with me and was well aware of why I found these so amusing.

A little closer to home (both geographically and chronologically) I took a trip to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) in Toronto this past December to test out the new camera I got for Christmas and I found, you guessed it, more things in jars!

ROM Collection
Crab with black claws

Polka Dot crab in a jar!
I love this one – a POLKA DOT Thing In A Jar! Anyone else getting trippy flashbacks of the elephant from the Island of Misfit Toys?

So I think I’ve finally come around to the appeal of things in jars. They are definitely fascinating and as an artist I find they provide a fertile ground for inspiration – all those changes due to the effects of the preservation fluid serve to make strange features even more alien, even more weird, even a little bit – monstrous? ;)

Embryo TiJs

And yes – even a little beautiful…

Turtle embryo

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