Operation Lucretia: New Skull Preservation Project

wifi and chocolate cake

WiFi, my first skull. And chocolate cake.

Lucretia is the 3rd pig skull I’ve preserved, so it’s definitely starting to seem like a thing. I strongly believe that the 3rd time you’ve done a thing means it’s become a “thing you do,” and you owe the world an explanation when you stop doing it. OTHERWISE THEY’LL SHAME YOU FOREVER.

I’ve done slightly more research on how to process Lucretia then I did for my previous pig skulls (which was nearly “none whatsoever”). The Bonelust Blog has been the most helpful. Though, honestly, for sort of hacking my way through the process, both WiFi and Piggy Stardust have turned out and held up pretty well.

Piggy Stardust was probably the least stressful to process since I had the benefit of a huge sunny yard, and was able to just plop him outside when I got frustrated with picking tiny bits of meat out of his teeth. Nature worked wonders on cleaning out his skull. However, I’ve moved to a new apartment now, and putting Lucretia outside would certainly worry the neighbors, or even worse, entice the neighbors.

piggy stardust outside

Piggy Stardust, processing outside.

I got Lucretia from the restaurant just today – I believe her face meat was made into head cheese, so just about all of the meat and fat on her face are gone – looks like her brain (or at least parts of it are) is still inside, and plenty of tissue and other gunky stuff inside the nostrils. But the hard work has really been done for me already.

 

lucretia bucket 1

I’m soaking her skull and her mandible in just plain water, and letting bacteria work some magic before I get into  manually cleaning out the rest. I used a combination of chop sticks, a toothbrush, and a table knife previously, and those will probably be my go-to tools this time as well, because I’m a professional who plows into skulls with chopsticks at weird hours of the night. After I feel like I’ve gotten her sufficiently clean enough, I’ll soak her in a hydrogen peroxide & water solution, which is what I’ve used before with great results, and seems to be strongly recommended via the Internet.com.

lucretia bucket 2

Lucretia will be living in the bucket for awhile. Will update when she emerges.

Honestly, I’m lucky that she comes to me already so clean, though having a skull that’s gone through a braising process probably weakens it some (I think?) and definitely colors the skull. It’ll probably take a bit longer to lighten her up.

I’m still learning a lot of this as I go, so if you’re reading this and have any experience or tips in skull processing, I am more than happy to hear them, or get set straight in some assumption I’m making.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hey again Theresa!

    I love your Piggy Stardust, I’m a huge Bowie/Ziggy fan, RIP. Even have a couple related tattoos.

    I see that your Lucretia here does have the red bacteria that you read about in my blog post you commented on. Again, when macerating (if done properly) you should not have to manually remove flesh. You should not have to touch the bones at all in fact until it is done in most cases.

    I’m a little concerned seeing your bare hands touching the skull here during maceration. You’re going to want to invest in some good gloves for bone processing, maybe even a respirator. I’d get an empty 5 gallon bucket with a tight lid as well instead of your bucket with saran wrap. Especially since you are macerating indoors. You can get them very inexpensively at Wal-mart, Home depot, etc. Most of my maceration containers though I’ve just recycled… used plastic coffee containers, and other food type containers with lids.

    Be sure to check out these posts of mine:

    TIPS FOR BEGINNER BONE COLLECTORS:

    BONELUST BONE PROCESSING Q&A: I want to start collecting bones/animal remains but I’m concerned about disease.

    http://bone-lust.blogspot.com/2013/05/bonelust-bone-processing-q-i-want-to.html

    Most Important Thing For a Bone Collector? Patience. 

    http://bone-lust.blogspot.com/2013/05/most-important-thing-for-bone-collector.html

    good luck… jana

    Reply

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