Skelosaurz Leather Fossils: Primeval art has evolved...

 

PRIMEVAL ART HAS EVOLVED

It’s tiny dinos skeleton sculpture!  Have a blast from the past building your own leather dinosaur toys!  Piece together and form pre-cut, miniature dinosaur bones to make your own little fossilized buddies... Skelosaurz are natural toys, designed by award-winning and published leather artist, Janelle Becker, who specializes in kinetic, skeletal sculpture and has worked with leather design for over a decade.

 

Made of durable, high quality leather, these little dinos teach the basics of leather wet forming while giving the reward of a toy!  These poseable, paleo-art models can be personalized in a variety of ways and your Skelosaurz can be built into a miniature museum!

Leather Triceratops
Leather Triceratops

  “All you need to make them is water.  I use a vegetable tanned leather that's easy to form by hand, but also remains durable once the figures have dried into shape."

These prehistoric leathercrafting kits include instructions, metal fasteners, wooden clips and a forming stick, which help to shape individual leather pieces as well as allowing detail to be drawn on them like cracks in the bone, making for a great fossilized look!   Skelosaurz can additionally be tooled (meaning carved into for extra detail).  Each comes with its own natural cork stand for display and these mini dinos can be painted, dyed or even colored with markers to become a fun, lasting heirloom toy for you and your family to enjoy! 

 

T-Rexs on the hunt
T-Rexs on the hunt

"The idea is to make these leather kits into a reality."  

We've exhibited Skelosaurz at The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo and held a test workshop at the Rocky Mountain Leather Trade Show, where the mini dinos enjoyed a successful class, but they're still in the prototype phase.  In order to get beyond that, we need to have the financial support that will allow us to manufacture easy-to-use consumer kits with high quality leather to share with everyone who wants to build their own dinosaur menagerie.

 

Skelosaurz original hand-made prototypes
Skelosaurz original hand-made prototypes

 

Assembling the first models...
Assembling the first models...

 

Laser Cutting Leather
Laser Cutting Leather

 

Skelosaurz leather models show off their natural beauty in classic fossilized colors.
Skelosaurz leather models show off their natural beauty in classic fossilized colors.

Leather is such an amazing material; being strong and malleable at the same time.  You can stretch it considerably with the help of water and once it dries, it will keep its form.  Leather is also able to retain various levels of flexibility, depending on how it's treated.  Water based paints and dyes can keep that bendiness to it while alcohol based dyes will give you a stiffer result.  You can also leave formed leather in its natural color, allowing the oils from the tanning process to glow through!

Skelosaurz Warz!
Skelosaurz Warz!

As a leather artist, experimenting with shaping and pressure was my first step in learning leather working.  The kit's wooden forming tool assists in stretching the nose into shape as well as making indentations onto the damp leather surface.  Marks are best made once the form is firmly shaped and nearly dry.  It's a great way to play with building depth and design on your dino!

Another common method for marking involves cutting into the surface slightly.  If you have a swivel knife, it's fun to pre-draw on features like cracks in the bone and then you can cut over them while they're still flat but wet.  Once you form them, the cracks really show up and it gives a nice fossilized look for a little leather toy. 

It's really fun to sort of personalize these guys however you want.  They're totally toolable for experienced leather artists and a great introduction to others who haven't worked with leather before!

From concept to finalized figures, Skelosaurz has had roughly three and a half years in the making and all that time spent has led to a more refined and efficient way of producing them. There's been a lot of effort put into their instructions, keeping in mind that they should be simple to assemble with limited tools.  This way, anyone can build Skelosaurz from what's in the package, and some water.

"I think it's important to have natural toys around at this point in time, but it's cool that these can also serve as an introduction to an entire skill set that can last a lifetime.”

A new experience in art toys & an ancient craft for a new generation...

Sustainable, safe materials for an eco-conscious world.

  • Vegetable tanned leather is a tanning process that uses vegetable oils versus toxic chemicals to tan a hide.  For example, chrome tanning makes for an inexpensive alternative; but while being quick to mass produce, it's known to have a heavy negative impact on the environment, degrade quicker and overall lacks the warmth and natural tanned scent expected from a nice leather hide.  Vegetable tanned leather takes quite a long time to tan in comparison and is more costly but leads to a higher quality leather that is stronger, safer, better accepting of dyes and is longer-lasting. 
  • We only use real, full grain leather hides, the highest quality of leather and the preferred grade for tooling.  None of the faux alternatives such as naugahyde, which is generally coated in rubber or vinyl resin, or bonded leather, a glued together scrap which has been resurfaced and has a weak, easily degradable structure.
  • H20-forming requires no added chemicals.  This means that it would be okay, though unfortunate for the Skelosaur, if your pet got ahold of a raw scrap to chew on!
  • All leather used is a natural byproduct of the food industry which allows for less waste in bovine processing.  It's good to use every part of the animal that we can, especially when it comes from our own livestock.
  • Natural-grain cork is used as a base for all of our mini dinos.  It's a high quality, lightweight material made from the Cork Oak; the only tree with bark that can be harvested many times without damage to the tree itself.  It's also an attractive, porous material that takes on color well if you should choose to paint or dye it!