Écorché Snake Workshop - Atlas Obscura

Los Angeles, California

Écorché Snake Workshop

Transform beeswax into the flayed head of a snake in this unique event from the Illumination of Wondrous Arts and Curious Crafts series.

Join Atlas Obscura, Oddities Flea Market and artist Heather O'Shaughnessy for a special workshop, part of our Illumination of Wondrous Arts and Curious Crafts two-day event curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn. 

Learn the delicate craft of creating creatures from beeswax in this unique workshop. An écorché (French translation: “flayed,” or “skinned”) is an anatomical figure depicting an animal or human with the skin removed to show the location and interplay of the muscles.Heather has developed a unique technique for creating delicate écorché specimens in wax and will share her process in this workshop. You will be guided through the process of creating an écorché snake’s head out of beeswax, using molds taken from one of her original sculptures, to cast reliefs from melted wax. Your creation will then be carved, painted, mounted, and framed. No previous artistic experience is required for this workshop, and all are welcome! All tools and supplies are provided.


Heather O’Shaughnessy is an American artist currently working out of St. Louis, Missouri. She has been working with beeswax for more than 12 years and exhibits her wax relief sculptures internationally. In addition to her sculpture work, she also teaches workshops in porcelain sculpture, wax relief sculpture, and wax flower making. She is currently writing a book on the history and art of wax flowers.


This event is one in a series of workshops, presented by Atlas Obscura in partnership with The Oddities Flea Market, that celebrates unique artists and their passion for interesting crafts. The event is a chance to spend part or all of the weekend leaping into the deep end to explore your creativity in unexpected ways. In addition to Wax Anatomy Sessions, there are workshops in Small Creature Taxidermy with Amber Maykut, Victorian-inspired Perfumery with Lacey Walker from Seance Perfumes, Cat Skeleton Articulation with Ryan Cohn, Octopus Taxidermy with ScientificWoman, and special portrait sittings with famed photographer Karen Jerzyk. 


  • Students must arrive 20 minutes prior to the start time. 
  • All materials are included as part of the workshop.
  • If you purchase tickets for two workshops, lunch is included. 


Email Carlyle Coash at carlyle.coash@atlasobscura.com.

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