Thursday, January 27, 2011

Q.J. Stephenson, maker of shell creatures

Q.J. Stephenson was a trapper, fossil collector and, later, an artist from Garysburg, N.C.  He created the Occoneechee Trapper's Lodge or Earth Museum, a building embedded with all sorts of stuff he collected. Stephenson also made sculptures that mix nature and fantasy. This creature looks like a horned toad but I don't think horned toads live anywhere near Garysburg. More likely, it's a fantasy creature loosely modeled after a dinosaur. This heavy, concrete plaque is embedded with shells and stones, and further decorated with colorful leaf imprints. Stephenson died in 1997.


  1. Very interesting and unique use of shells. You mentioned that it is made of heavy concrete, but can you tell us more about actual size of this piece?

  2. Hi, mytwocentsworth. It's 30 inches tall and 10 inches wide.

  3. Thanks! That is one hefty little piece of artwork and really quite unique.