An Obsession With Dimetrodons (They are NOT dinosaurs!)

I have had the amazing opportunity to be a docent at HMNS (Houston Museum of Natural Science – www.hmns.org ) for many years. One of the most excellent opportunities I’ve experienced is being able to work with the Paleontology crew and travel to Seymour, Texas to find, collect and bring back to Houston – the fossilized bones of (mostly) dimetrodons!

Working in the Paleo Prep Lab at HMNS Sugar Land (pre–COVID-19)

I mostly work in the Paleo Prep Lab at HMNS Sugar Land! Here we take the fossils that we found in Seymour, clean them, identify them and catalogue them.

Fossilized Dimetrodon tooth in the field!
This is what the Permian outcrop looks like – yes there is a dimetrodon spine in the photo (hint: near the hammer)

Dimetrodons are “mammal-like” reptiles that lived in the Permian, approximately 280 years ago. Which means that they are NOT DINOSAURS! Unfortunately, most people (for valid reasons) believe that Dimetrodons are dinosaurs; therefore I wanted to find a way to show, through my art, a way to inform and educate the public. To teach the world the truth! To bring to light this travesty of misinformation!

My first ceramic dimetrodons – “test tiles”

My first dimetrodons were created while taking beginning ceramics at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX. In ceramics it is advised to make “test tiles” which represent combinations of various types of clay and different glazes. For example one glaze on a white clay will look very different if put on a reddish clay. So my early “text tiles” were dimetrodons. But then, I found that I enjoyed making dimetrodons! People would ask me about my “dinosaurs” and at that point I could teach them the truth about dimetrodons!

Dimetrodons! Raw and unfiltered

During my Block IX time, I took another class at the Glassell School of Art — Intermediate Ceramics: Multiplicity I, where I made over 400 dimetrodons. For this project I used the different clay types to distinguish between different types of dimetrodons! They were first displayed in the Multiplicity Exhibit in the Spring of 2019.

Setting up for the Glassell Ceramics Multiplicity Exhibit, Spring 2019

They were displayed on the pedestals at the Glassell School of Art for the BLOCK IX show later that year! It was a huge success and many patrons learned that DIMETRODONS ARE NOT DINOSAURS!!!

For this show the dimetrodons were segregated by color

The white porcelain dimetrodons with friend
The red dimetrodons with their maker (me!)

At this moment (2021) the dimetrodons are at rest in boxes in my Houston studio. Here they lie waiting for another opportunity to spring forth from their boxes! If you have any ideas please let me know!!