Hand Carved Animal Skulls by Don Simpson


Linear Coyote by Don Simpson, 2009 – 2013

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link onto my Facebook page, the thumbnail featured the works of Don Simpson, an artist who creates elegant hand crafted skulls that are carved into some beautiful and exquisite designs. As soon as I discovered Simpson’s Deviant Art Page, I was impressed with the level of detail, the intricate patterns and designs are just incredible!

Simpson’s animal skulls also contain other materials, such as indian ink and bee’s wax that also add a unique, distinctive style to the artist’s work. As I was browsing through Simpson’s page, I realised that the artist has carved a range of animal skulls including buffalo’s, bulls, coyotes, deers, foxes and badgers. There was one image in particular that captured my attention, In Simpson’s “Openwork Coyote”, the bright purple fabric within the background compliments the patterns that are carved into the coyote’s skull. Simpson’s work is very symmetrical and this particular effect also highlights the artistic patterns that are carved into the centre of the skull.


Openwork Coyote by Don Simpson

The patterns within the skull are quite similar to the patterns within the background, the different shapes and designs do add a very interesting effect to the image, in fact I can’t seem to withdraw my attention to the star that is embedded into the Coyote’ skull. The level of craftsmanship is quite extraordinary, in a way the skull is carved into something rather creative and imaginative. In fact, Simpson’s unique patterns significantly distort the original meaning and interpretation of the skull in general that is normally associated with death and mortality.

The coyote skull in particular is transformed into a unique art form, these skeletal remains are associated with beauty rather than morbidity. This is why I find Simpson’s work so fascinating, the skull is used a canvas in order to portray unique, artistic and visual appealing qualities, the skull doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with death, fear and anxiety.


Sunwheel Racoon by Don Simpson

To be honest it’s quite refreshing to actually view the skull from another perspective, where death itself is transformed into a beautiful and imaginative work of art! As i continue to browse through Simpson’s eclectic portfolio, I discovered another work in particular that is rather extraordinary to say the least. In “Sunwheel Racoon”, the artist has carved some elegant symbols into the very front of the skull that significantly contrasts with the textural surface within the background. What I do find particularly interesting is the choice of colour, why purple? Well I’m not exactly sure to tell you the truth although the bright purple background successful compliments the colour of the skull, I wouldn’t really think this particular colour combination really work, some how the artist is able to use the colours in a way that is quite unique and artistic.

The background is rather bold and the diagonal lines also contrast with the decorative symbols within the skull, all the visual elements effectively correspond with one another. I must admit, Simpson’s work is rather inspiring, I even find the textual surface of the background rather creative! The decorative symbols that are carved onto the skulls also provides a unique aesthetic to Simpson’s ongoing collection! Unfortunately I was unable to find any additional information in regards to Don Simpson’s work, although if you are interested in the animal skulls, I would strongly recommend that you visit the artist’s Deviant art site.




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