Brooke's skull art turns heads in upcycling circles

WHEN Brooke Joe pulls out the bleach, she is not getting ready to clean the house.

Instead, she is preparing a unique and unlikely canvas for painting and decorating - the skull of a cow.

The result is a series of painted and mosaic-covered wall hangings, which have received a lot of attention on the Clarence Valley Upcyclers Facebook page.

From farm to finished product, the creative 31-year-old estimates it is an eight-hour process.

Each skull needs to be bleached, sanded and filled before it is ready for decoration.

NO BULL: Brooke Joe has been dividing opinions with her mosaic-decorated and painted skulls.
NO BULL: Brooke Joe has been dividing opinions with her mosaic-decorated and painted skulls. Adam Hourigan

"I'm a bit of a perfectionist and pretty critical of my work so it takes longer but there's a lot of work involved; usually they're broken or smashed so I have to fill them in with plaster," she said.

"Looking at them you wouldn't think you could do anything with them but I can usually get enough coverage to start working with them."

The Ramornie mother-of-two said she had always loved crafting with what she finds around her property.

"I've always had a bit of a fascination with skulls and cow horns," she said.

"I started off painting them and thought I'd just keep going with it. It evolved from there.

"I like doing other things too. I'll go down to the paddock and find old bits of timber, sand them back and make little arrangements with them and feathers.

"Everything I have in my house I try and make it myself."

Mrs Joe said she sourced most of her skills from her parents' cattle property and other farmers in the area.

"People are like 'What? What do you use that for?'," she said.

"I've been quite surprised at the (positive) feedback, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. When people see them they either love them or they hate them."

Mrs Joe said while she had recently been messaged by people saying they wanted one, there were no official orders yet.

"I'd like to think I could make some money but for now I'm just enjoying it as a hobby."



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