monsters…

“monsters don’t sleep under you bed – they live inside your head” 

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a beautiful baby girl

It isn’t obvious from some of the photos,  but Rosie can actually be removed from the skull cavity that she sits in…

She is still physically linked to Rachel by her umbilical cord – which is connected to the spinal cord as it enters the base of the skull. But it does mean she can be removed and positioned close by…

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sleeping like a…

thought id post this…

thought it’d be interesting to have a record of it at this stage – especially given that when i put finishing touches to the piece it may screw it up completely!

i’m concerned some of the varnishes i will be using will react badly with the materials used so far in the build. i think i have taken suitable precautions so that it wont happen – but you never know!

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teratoma

WARNING: may i take a moment to warn anyone of a sensitive disposition (or those who are eating!) that it may be better to avoid this post….

i wondered what medical science would have to say about this brainchild concept, and this is what my research showed up…

TERATOMA: from classical greek, meaning ‘monstrous tumour‘.

simply put, a teratoma is an encapsulated tumour which contains tissue or organ components. these tissues may be quite different from the surrounding tissues, and have been known to contain hair, teeth, bone, and on rare occasions more complex organs such as eyes or limbs.

there are 2 rare forms of this condition:

fetus in fetu and fetiform teratoma.

in these cases, the cyst contains tissue components which resemble a malformed foetus. both may contain partial/complete organ systems, even major body parts such as torso or limbs. however, fetus in fetu differs in that it has an apparent spine and bilateral symmetry.

the popular medical interpretation of fetus in fetu is as a congenital complication, whereupon one foetus begins growing within it’s twin. however, without the appropriate in utero conditions, a fetus in fetu cannot develop to physical maturity. there are reported cases of mature teratome which contain partially developed organ systems, cranial bones, and a rudimentary beating heart.

a fetus in fetu can be considered alive only in a very limited sense, as it’s blood supply for tissue and organs are provided directly by it’s host. additionally, all cases of fetus in fetu present critical defects, such as no functional brain, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or urinary tract.

fascinating stuff. no?

well here’s a little more…

in 2008, a 3day old baby [sam esquibel] received brain surgery to remove a tumour which was picked by an MRI scan. but when the surgeon operated, this is what he found…

the surgeon removed a foot, a partially formed hand, a thigh and a second, but partially-formed foot. read the story here [link].  for dramatic purposes, please let me restate this fact:

these bodyparts were removed from the brain of a newborn baby! 

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ADDITIONAL NOTE  [17 march 2012]

as far as i am aware, all of the above information is factually correct. there are other posts on this blog that discuss a foetus growing within a person’s brain – but they relate to a university project i am currently undertaking.

so, if you arrived at this blog looking for answers to genuine medical questions relating to cysts, then you’d probably be better looking for further information elsewhere, as i’m all out of facts for you.

however, maybe it was a morbid fascination with the human body that brought you here… perhaps the idea that a cyst could grow within the human body, which contained hairs and teeth? or maybe you were curious about a congenital disorder which results in one twin’s foetus being absorbed into the body of another? if it was something like this, then you may enjoy more of this blog.

i am telling the fictitious tale of a sideshow exhibit from the late 1800s – known as Rachel & Baby Rosie.

in this carnival attraction, the decapitated head of a girl named Rachel was on display in a glass case. however, not only was she decapitated, but the top of her skull had been sawn off.

normally, inspection of the inner cranium would reveal a brain, but not in her case. oh no, inside this poor girl’s head was a foetus; a true brainchild!

the unborn child turned out to be a girl, and she was given the name, Rosie.

the rest of this blog discusses my efforts to organise a small exhibition using this carnival attraction as a central artefact. i look into the history of the macabre artefact, and also investigate other accounts of this brainchild phenomena.

let me restate: the head mentioned in this addendum is an item i have constructed myself. the backstory of this head is a fictional story. the exhibition i am putting on is part of a graded module within my degree course.

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a cavernous cavity

more progress on the skull..

i re-sized/shaped the head, then began building up the facial structure a touch on the nose and brow. also added an eye socket to one side of the head as you can see from the photo below. the eyeball i have in there is able to rotate freely within the socket [which is quite cool!].

last night i ordered a couple of webcams. my hope is that i can dismantle one of them and re-house it within an eyeball – so this thing could be watching you as you look at it!

the next stage was to carve a chunk out of the cranium, to create a quarter-spherical opening. i then constructed the elliptical brain cavity inside the skull. i hadn’t realised how much room there is inside one of these things!

as you can see from the next photo, my estimations of the required foetus size were way off the mark… you could fit triplets in there! i could pad out the space with the ol’ grey matter, but i think the only reasonable course of action is to make a bigger baby.

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toothless

updates today are to show you a little more model construction…

i have made a foetus skull to match the scale of the foetus model i built last week. while i was researching foetal skeletons [which is not the easiest thing to do], i realised that their skulls don’t have any teeth.  it’s obviously really, but i’d simply never thought about it before.

the model has slight articulation of the jaw, and the inside the skull has detailing of the nasal cavity. it is made from sculpey, by building a section, baking it, adding more, baking it, etc – until i got to this stage. it’s not the most streamlined process, but i find sculpey to be too soft to build and entire model out of, in one sitting. for future sculpey projects i will probably build over an armature.

ultimately it’s unlikely that i’ll even use this piece because the brainchild should not a fleshless skeleton. however, it is helping me get the scale correct, and it is  really quite a nice lil’ maquette!

i have also begun work on a full-size skull. i used a latex skull mask i’d made a few years ago as the basis for the model, building up a rough out of mod roc [which is a plaster coated material]. it is a little on the large side and the socket ridges are far too pronounced, but i will rectify that as spend more time on it.

photo below:
the new plaster build is on the left, my latex mask is to the right.

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a bouncing baby

this is the result of my recent labours…

the bobblehead in the photograph above, is a positive from the sculpt i told you about in the previous post. it’s made out of latex, so is quite flexible in your hands. the head is a little small, but the other physical proportions are a reasonable basis to start constructing something a little more medically accurate…

my rough plan for the next stage:
build a foetal skeleton, using this lil’ guy as scale reference. although i’m currently undecided whether i should make this posable or already in a rigid fetal position. then i will layer tissue and semi-transparent skin over the skeleton frame as appropriate.

i have yet to begin creating a full-sized head for this little fella to reside inside too. i suspect i have a busy few weeks ahead of me!

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