hitekmastr

Ideas For Displaying Fossils

79 posts in this topic

My wife and I are spending our "cabin fever" off-season cleaning some of our summer finds and also expermenting with ways to display them - as sculptures, on stands, in Riker mounts, or on the wall.

I'm re-posting this topic here in the General Discussion - the "display thread" with some photos - the original discussion thread is located HERE (click here).

Here are some photos of display ideas we've been developing:

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There are some great ideas from other Fossil Forum enthusiasts, on the original thread.

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VERY cool!

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Sooo, ahhh, I'm not sure where to post, but heck!

Before you Guys get all weirded out because this is an outside display, realize that I'm in MinnesOta and it is WINTER (read, 9 months of the year) and Bob is tired of rocks everywhere! These are "rejects"... This is only a small amount that are outside. But the house is small! Easier to heat when small...

You've seen other displays that I have posted. If you check out the link you'll realize that we are sharing displays. This is an outside display. :D As I can't open my mouth without my teeth aching from the cold...

Just an idea! I prefer the aquarium with fish fossils! Or fern fossils with ferns! Or black acrylic custom made lazy susans with 35 lb. fossils!

BUT, it is MinnesOta...

And yes, the accent is on the "O"! Just a silly from a silly MinnesOtan! :)

Bev :rofl: You have to be crazy to live where you have only 3 months of no coat! And yes, I have worn a coat in July on those cold nights...

Bev :)

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Bev - Ah - we actually have a 50 gallon aquarium (started with 10 gallons and kept trading up until we have a 50) - Nancy is the aquarium expert. Haven't thought about putting fossils in there but fossil shells would look cool - any reason it might hurt the fish????

I grew up in Wisconsin - delivered newspapers and at least twice a year the actual temperature hit -32 to -35 degrees Farenheit!!! Now in Pennsylvania, some winters we have virtually no snow and right now the grass is still green.

Keep warm...

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VERY cool!

You must be the master of displaying fossils - in the center of fossil land in Kentucky!

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So far, I've used some fossil-bearing rocks for decor.

These include shells and burrows:

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Phylloid algae:

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Otherwise, my fossils tend to be too small, fragile, or meh for displaying.

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For those of us with a few more specimens, here are some ideas for displaying:

  1. Live in the garage. Use the whole house for displaying fossils.
  2. Build a shed. Live in it, using the house AND garage for displaying fossils
  3. Put your elderly parent(s) into a home, and use their house for the fossil display.
  4. Remove all the grass from the yard, and convert it to a giant riker mount.

:D

Hilarious. :) More typically what we are seeing is that lifelong fossil collectors build a massive collection, store everything away in boxes and cabinets, or in the basement, then when they die their spouse gives everything away or it winds up in the trash where it will probably really confuse future archaeologists who "mine" the trash dumps and find these fossils from faraway locations. Picking and choosing and displaying in a meaningful way gives more value to the pieces and helps assure their survivability. Focusing on what is rare or unique or special also gives value to the finds especially if friends on the Fossil Forum indicate that the finds are special or just plain "cool." B)

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More typically what we are seeing is that lifelong fossil collectors build a massive collection, store everything away in boxes and cabinets, or in the basement, then when they die their spouse gives everything away or it winds up in the trash ..... Picking and choosing and displaying in a meaningful way gives more value to the pieces and helps assure their survivability.

Perhaps putting price tags on everything would make others think twice about throwing everything out. :)

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You Guys are too Cool!

Missourian, Love your displays!

Read the link! This guy has fish fossils mounted around his aquarium! Think Sea Feathers/Living Crinoids! How cool is that!

Bev :)

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hitekmastr,

Use of the the hand is a neat idea.

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Here is how my fossils are displayed on my office shelf - note the two specimens at the far left, which are prepared by drilling holes in the bottom of the piece, matching them up and drilling holes in a wooden base, and inserting the rods in the fossil and wood, secured with superglue. This creates a small sculpture on a stand with a 3D appearance.

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Most of the ferns are displayed using the wire tilted racks from Michael's - they are coated with plastic which protects the shale. The large piece is on a large easel. At the far right is an Ordovician cell assemblage that is not mounted. The next step (which I'm working on now) will be the "steel rod sculpture."

Edited by hitekmastr
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Those are really nice looking deco/displays, hitekmastr. :thumbsu:

The thought of drilling still makes me nervous though.

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Hitekmastr

I wish I have someone like you with your skill and creativity nearby to help my fossils display project, very nice work!

I am still pondering about ways I can display my croc skull other than just make a custom-made metallic stand that lifts

the skull up in a custom-made nice-looking glass dome... Well, first I have to find someone to make these for me with skills

first, 555

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Those are really nice looking deco/displays, hitekmastr. :thumbsu:

The thought of drilling still makes me nervous though.

Drilling is the most difficult part. As you can see from my description I am proceeding very cautiously, drilling a small pilot hole first, then using a short bit (3/16) and finally a long (foot long) drill bit. I am very careful to choose pieces where the fossils are mostly on the outside with a rocky layer behind that I can drill through. The pieces I am drilling do not require me to drill through valuable fossils and the rock has iron content which makes it harder than shale or limestone which would be likely to crack. The second piece I drilled for my "rod" sculpture (actually, last night) hit a piece of iron and the drill wouldn't move deeper so I chiseled off the iron end which didn't have fossils anyway.

Yes, this is kind of tricky but my sense is that preserving and displaying fossil assemblages is a much better way to archive fossils than hiding them away in boxes where they often stay until we die and then our spouse throws them away, gives them away, or sells them for a few dollars to whoever wants them. Finding a formula that combines archiving fossils and displaying them in a way they can be preserved and studied or appreciated seems like a good alternative to "hording and storing."

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This is a new carpet rug display stand that I bought and converted it into a stand to hold some of my riker mounts... for a reference, the meg on the top shelf bottom left is just over 4" long...

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Govinn,

This is a REALLY nice display! This confirms the point that we can all collect, preserve and display our finds without becoming hoarders just sticking things away in boxes and basements! This is easy to view, very clear and the colors are impressive. You can compare different finds easily - very, very cool!

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This is a new carpet rug display stand that I bought and converted it into a stand to hold some of my riker mounts... for a reference, the meg on the top shelf bottom left is just over 4" long...

gallery_1369_1341_1608744.jpg

THose look amazing! Can you come to my house and help me? :)

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While my stuff IS in the basement, it isn't stuffed away in boxes. For the most part anyway. LOL

This is my riker display...

rikers1.jpg

These are two old government issue modular book cases. They have lift up-slide in glass panel doors that are up for pics...

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Unfortunately that is most of what has made it through several moves and the like. 1/2 again as much has been lost or stolen or sold.

Edited by smokeriderdon
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Govinn,

This is a REALLY nice display! This confirms the point that we can all collect, preserve and display our finds without becoming hoarders just sticking things away in boxes and basements! This is easy to view, very clear and the colors are impressive. You can compare different finds easily - very, very cool!

Thank you very much! I've been searching for another rack like this one, but have not run across one yet. I believe it is the perfect way to display riker mounts because you can still see a little of each one. Each riker mount has a label on it with the location. I NEVER mix locations. There are about 8 different locations represented in this picture. Don't get it twisted because I am still a hoarder... I have over 200,000 more teeth that I have no idea how to display... well, let me clarify... I don't have the room to display all of them... Now, that's a problem I like having.. :)

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THose look amazing! Can you come to my house and help me? :)

LOL. Thank you, I am VERY expensive!! ;)

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I was at Shopko yesterday and they had one of those bookshelves that are wider at the bottom and narrower as it goes up on sale for $49 in black. It would be a stunning display and perfect for the riker mounts! Just an FYI.

Bev :)

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I made this as a gift last year for my brother. He's a doctor and has it hanging in his office. Several patients have wanted to get one for themselves.

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That is SO Beautiful!

Bev :)

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Here is my "Devonian fossil sculpture" - I drilled 3/16 inch holes through the pieces - the holes went into the rock behind the surface fossils - using extra long masonry drill bits. At first the drilling was slow and I couldn't get through the final hardest piece which had iron content - but then someone gave me a tip and I dipped the bit in water to lubricate it and that made it work. This is the first try at this concept and we plan to collect more pieces this spring to create more of these displays.

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Note the beads under each rock piece that allows the pieces to swivel on the rod so you can turn the pieces to look at all sides. The top piece has a thoracic trilobite segment (probably Dipleura) - here is what it looks like up close:

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I made this as a gift last year for my brother. He's a doctor and has it hanging in his office. Several patients have wanted to get one for themselves.

attachicon.gifNov 19,2012 003.JPG

VERY COOL!

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