Morty the Ox

Morty’s conduit skeleton

Morty the Ox was a project I undertook in 2009.   The town of Beaverlodge was celebrating 100 years of settlement and the Cultural Centre was putting together a show of historic photos & artifacts. An ox harness was to be part of that display.  I stuck my neck out and said I’d make a life-size papier mache ox to show it off properly.

I had to get some instruction & tools from my husband, to build a skeleton out of conduit.  Then I applied chicken wire around it to make the form.  Ordinary newspaper wouldn’t hold together for the outer skin, but a family friend had some bandage material that wrapped nicely, and was much more durable.  It now resembled a large mummified bovine. My intention was to pad it out with newsprint, & paint it brown.  This never happened!  Thus the name Morty (short for rigor-mortise).

Morty in Stock Trailer

I hauled Morty to the Cultural Centre in our stock trailer.  He filled the centre of the large gallery, and performed his intended duty well.

When the show was over, Morty spent time at the far end of the hall, but took up a lot of space.   After several publicity events, he was hauled to the McNaught Homestead.  He has lived in the barn there ever since, and is on display at their yearly Festival and Ghost Walk.

Talk about an idea taking on a life of it’s own!  Morty sure did!