"Artists are blessed by their patrons. I was asked to create an American River
Otter, with a sheepish look on his face as he turned with a small trout in his mouth.
I only work from life and having not a friend or an acquaintance I could call to
borrow a live otter, I turned to zoos and Academy of Natural Science.
Ned Gilmore was so generous. He took me into the bowels of the Academy of
Natural Science where he handed a box of bones. So I set out assembling my otter
only to discover that the digits where missing. 'Oh,' Ned says, 'I forgot, I lent them to
a friend for research' and hands me another box! All animals have the same bones,
except humans, we have a collarbone. So it is all about the length and the angles that
make up the entire wonderful creatures on this planet.
Then it was on to the zoos. Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington DE had two American
river otters Jester and Able, 19 and 21. Philadelphia Zoo, with Micelle Jamison, had
South American river otters and they are different but they where younger and full
of life. They are in constant motion. Too much fun, it become clear to me that I must
observe and trust my memory and combine what I saw.
I can't thank Ned and all the zookeepers for their assistance and knowledge. Most of
all I am grateful to the otters I met and spent lots of time with."