March 25, 2009
I'm back from a great trip to Austin for SXSW and the Flatstock Poster Festival. Thanks to everybody that stopped by my booth, and welcome if this is your first time reading Tiny Aviary!
Two days before I left for for Austin, I made a new screenprint. I've been wanting to make a narwhal print for a long time. I think the first time I saw a photo of one, I had the same reaction most people do: Is that real? Yes, they really do exist, and it's the males that have the horns. The horn is actually a tooth that grows out from their upper left jaw. Narwhal tusks were often passed off as unicorn tusks, and sold for exhorbatant prices by medieval traders for their "healing properties". The narwhal is a resident of the northern seas, and is the only other member in the family Monodontidae along with Belugas. Not too long ago, I bought a photo print by Paul Nicklen off of the National Geographic website. The article it was used for was about the narwhals and the annual hunt by the Inuit. The Inuit use the tusk, meat and skin which contains a high level of vitamin C. Populations of narwhals are declining, and this may be due to a number of factors: climate change, Inuit hunting, and halibut fisheries.