Jessica Joslin’s “Clockwork Circus” Exhibition in LA!

Orlando (5”x5”x4”). Antique brass findings and hardware, leather, velvet, wood, tacks, cast/painted plastic, glass eyes.

Damn you, Hollyweirdos! You get to have all the Joslin fun. *shakes fist* As I write this, the astounding Madame Jessica J. (featured extensively in Coilhouse Issue 01) is over at the Billy Shire Gallery prepping a cavalcade of her Wunderkammer critters for the show’s opening reception tomorrow (Saturday).

Lambert & Salvia (8″x10″x22″) Antique hardware and findings, bone, brass, beads, leather, velvet, trim, coat hook, model cannon, glass eyes.

Trying to picture the Joslin lovebirds mounting a show is always a bit dangerous for me, prompting ardent fantasies of Jessica and Jared donning drum major uniforms and marching their whimsies down the street and through the door in step to a demented chiptune rendition of “76 Trombones” before shooing various characters onto pedestals, canvases and placard hooks. (There’s usually some whip-and-chair action in there as well, but… uh… I digress.)

Anyhoo. Jessica’s been working on these “Clockwork Circus” beasties for months now. They’re as winsomely exquisite as anything she’s crafted yet. If you’re in the area, go get acquainted.

Aster (27”x19.5”x10”) Antique brass findings and hardware, bone, leather, antique vestment trim, velvet, brass bullet casings, chain, silver, snakeskin, glass eyes.

Click below to view a couple more of Jessica Joslin’s “Clockwork” creatures.

[EDIT] Oh! One more thing! I’m sure Jessica wouldn’t mind us mentioning this here… Heads up, Phillyfreaks! If you’re not already all swoony and spent from Laura Kicey’s reception (or even if you are) and you’re feeling piney for something to do tonight (Friday), you probably shouldn’t miss the Mutter Museum “Disco Inferno Dance Party” for ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. What better way to celebrate the museum’s 150th anniversary than some inspired booty-shaking amidst the bones and tumors? Go, go, go!

Virgil & Ace (42”x17”x22”) Antique brass findings and hardware, bone, leather, velvet, antique pony harness, vestment trim, brass sequins, bullet casings, chain, silver, snakeskin, chain, glass eyes.

Odette (11″x14″x18″) Antique hardware, brass, bone, beads, glove leather, glass eyes.

Gustav (19″x9″x16″) Antique brass findings and hardware, bone, velvet, satin, embroidered glove leather, antique steel tricycle, glass eyes.

12 Responses to “Jessica Joslin’s “Clockwork Circus” Exhibition in LA!”

  1. drea Says:

    who says steam punk is dead?

  2. Mer Says:

    Blargh. Steampunk might not be dead, but the application of that label certainly has a way of deadening/pigeonholing the subtlety and beauty of such singular work.

    (Sorry, Drea… don’t mind me. Just my two grumpy cents.)

  3. Io Says:

    I really want to see this show. I love how she takes the remains and creates something beautiful and immortal with them — I find it strangely uplifting. If I could donate my bones to art when I die, this is how I’d like to be remembered. It beats being a waxy figure in a casket any day.

  4. Shay Says:


  5. stephanie Says:

    Damn you, Hollyweirdos! You get to have all the Joslin fun. *shakes fist*

    mer, my sentiments exactly. i had to leave la (home) last weekend to come back to sf for skool. damn you la for having all the fun. i can’t wait to move back this summer!!

  6. Tequila Says:

    Bwahahahahaha We DO get all the fun…no worries Mer once I perfect my “go anywhere anytime machine” you’ll never again miss out on Teh Funz.

    I’ll definitely check this out, currently getting over a cold or else I’d make it to the reception.

    I love bones, I use them a lot in my own sketches so seeing work like this is tremendously inspiring and as Io beautifully put it…uplifting. There is a dramatic immortality to them that feels far more loving than say something done for shock value.

    Would love to see more human bones given such treatment. I’d sign up for it without hesitation.

    Is this Steampunk though? Dunno. My impression with that genre is about making fashion, tech, and other do dads of the era work in a real world way. Fantasy fueled yes but still a bit grounded in science…this seems way out of that field and very much its own thing. If one HAD to find a genre for it…I dunno…Neo-Taxidermy? Love how you can just look at ONE of them and see so much.

    I will admit I’m not seeing the clockwork vibe though. Then again when i think of that I picture gears that push moving parts. If anything the craftsmanship and design SCREAM for some high tech methods to bring them to life…

    …or at least some talented 3D animators.

  7. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Oh, to have an entire house full of her treasures!

  8. Brock McCoy Says:

    Tuesday! Tuesday! Tuesday! I can haz bone!

    Thanks for the notice.

  9. Jessica Says:

    Mer: Thanks m’lovely! You were very much there in spirit. Some fine day we will all goose-step down the street together with big furry hats, mark my words!

    Much obliged to the rest for your enthusiasm and compliments. For those of you who can get to the show, I hope that you enjoy. :)

    Steampunk: I don’t particularly mind that label, although the similarities are incidental. Brass makes me very, very happy, so clearly there is something kindred.

    Clockwork: Well, there aren’t clock gears stuck on anything (and they only move when no one is watching) but they are built with a precision and an attention to detail that is characteristic of the golden age of automata.

    Nadya & Zoe: Thanks so much for coming to the show! It was such a pleasure to meet you two!

    Mutter: Boy oh boy do I wish I was in Philly sometimes!

  10. Brock McCoy Says:

    The exhibit was great! I loved Gustav/tricycle, where from the side it looks like he has a huge grin and is enjoying himself thoroughly, but from the front it looks like a dog silently longing for that sandwich you’re stuffing your face with. The shirt-thing and hat on Gustav set him apart for me too, it seemed to give him more life. Perhaps Gustav engaging in a human activity is what finally tickled my funny bone; I got a good laugh out of it too. It was cool to get to see behind the ears and places cameras don’t go to peer at all the little details of construction. May our awesome-winter-weather city host many more of your friends in the future, Jessica, thanks.

  11. Tequila Says:

    @Jessica…Ah ok, all the steampunk talk threw me off the obvious it seems. Your work does have that clockwork precision clear as day…though now my head is filled with them moving about via assorted gears and what not.

    I’d imagine they’d be quite fun to animate in say an old skool stop motion setting.

  12. Jessica Says:

    Thanks Brock!
    Tequila: When the time is right, stop motion will happen…
    Nadya: I’m really not an amnesiac…the bushmills was doing the typing. *eye roll*