Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hello (cloned) Dolly!

scan of Dolly linocut

detail of Dolly linocutSo, this February, the Mad Scientists of Etsy challenge is Keith Campbell the biologist, who was part of the team that produced the cloned sheep Dolly. You remember Dolly? She was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. She was born 5 July 1996. Usually, when the theme is a scientist, I do a portrait. I am a little more wary about the 20th century scientists, because we lack distance. Further, being out-numbered by biologists, on the Mad Scientists team, we do get some characters about whom I know next to nothing. Undoubtedly, Dolly was a big science story, but I know nothing of Campbell and I can't say that naming this sheep, cloned from a mammary cell, for the "most impressive mammaries" really impresses me. Ms. Parton has a great sense of humour, but that doesn't mean that I support objectification. I wouldn't want to be humourless, but people are more than their parts. Likewise, sheep. Though really, I suspect we likely need more distance to fully grasp the ethics of cloning issues too, so this is not that kind of post. No, this is simpler: the really cool thing about block printing is that one gets (or can get) multiple originals so there's a obvious analogy to cloning. The title I'm blaming on the accidental punning headline-writer. After groaning, I decided RJH's comment of "Hello Dolly!" was corny but funny. Plus, I'm obsessed with typography. He also said I chose to "go pink or go home" but I really wanted the contrast with the gray. I must say, my magenta ink is the pits. I wonder if it's a bad batch or whether there's some sort of chemical problem with their emulsifier. Anyhow, enjoy the sheep: edition of 6 on Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper, each sheet is 12.5 inches wide by 10.25 inches tall (31.8 cm by 26 cm).

I must run. I'm in the middle of a symposium on scientific visualization. This is my lunch break.

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