The Zymoglyphic Museum

What is it? A self-museum, a cabinet of curiosities, no, make that fishtanks of curiosities, with lots of little eyes secretly staring at you, and organic matter arranged into beings with souls. Well, if I only had 140 characters to describe the mood of this place, that would be it.

Seems benign enough. A weathered sign ... been here a long time. No one's probably died here. At the end of a little cul-de-sac in the middle of a long chain of suburbs. Nondescript, really.

I joined the Sketchcrawl Silicon Valley group as they sketched their way through the collection. If you'd like to sketch with others, do contact them for more information. They're pretty laid back and there is no cost to join them. They meet monthly to sketch, sometimes corresponding with the worldwide SketchCrawl. This Silicon Valley group has loose ties to the Bay Area Book Artists. If you like eclectic and haven't found BABA yet, get thee to that group! Their website looks very orderly but don't let that fool ya. They color, fold, and rip loudly outside the lines - a handy affiliation to have when visiting this place.

This was my first visit and first time meeting Jim Stewart, the museum's curator and gracious host. He was curious to see what each of us gravitated to and how we interpreted his work. I photographed while others drew and sketched. I was particularly drawn to things with eyes and his unique way of combining unlikely objects into his own version of creatures. I did not come close to photographing everything even though it might seem like it.

Prepping you for what's inside. The closer and slower you look, the more you find. Soon, you feel your head getting sucked into the middle of the earth.

A small fraction of what's inside that shed can be found below.

It's a tricky space to photograph. Yes, you'll see reflections and places where I forgot to reset my white balance from the picture before. I must have reset it 50 times :)

Artifacts of Zymoglyphic Culture

Flora and Fauna of the Zymoglyphic Region

Ancient Book

ARRIVAL: A Plastic angel and a dead bird greet an intriguing but invisible new arrival.

I wonder if Jim is part of the Non-visible Museum.

Ronald? Is that you?

Happy Monk in Cave

horsehead, I think.

washer eye. shell iris.

washer eye. barnacle iris.

glass teeth - hey, I have some of those! (well, porcelain)

Baubo on the half shell?

Wheeled Leaf Boat

Lizard Headed Mud Cart

A massage table for grubs?

PICNIC: Tiny aliens have landed in a recently desiccated area. They manage to hunt down something to eat. An even tinier, unsuspecting motorist approaches the scene.

Little car in the shadow on the right ... creeping onto the aliens at the picnic bench.

Royal Figure

I love the sprawling nature of this. I can see the peeled grapes being served although they are wrinkly at some points and distended at others, with wine-colored streaks throughout.

So, what is this? The little plastic body is apparently filling up with sand. This happens as our brains masticate on the shells and hard things that get force fed into it. Ah, I get it. But the quicker you churn through all that hard stuff, the sooner you fill up and the sooner you die. Best not to solve the hard stuff too fast.

Sea Spirit

Self-destroying Automation

Sewing Lobster

Sewing Walking Chair


This will calm me down. Whenever I feel stressed, I'll just think of a big pair of hands holding my head.

Propeller and ammo-prepared sleigh? I stared and stared at this to try and guess what its parts were.

Ya know, I'm not even sure what this material was. I was caught up in its shape and coloration.

This googly-eyed parthenon is less than an inch cubed.

Lifelike finger sucker.

That squirrelly bunch-o-wire surely had its eye to suck up those posing rocks as soon as they looked away.

Queen Baubo carrying a big nail?

And now, My Favorites!

Like a couch full of fun-lovin' ... um ... vulvae? organs? body parts? casually lounging on the family couch under the protective soothing 70's lamp.

Sea creatures sometimes use creative deception and mimicry to lure prey.

It took me several looks in person to get this. That plate of food is maybe an inch in diameter. Clever the clam uses human food to bait ... ahh, the human in diver form hovering to the right of the food. cute.

As I came out of the museum, my eyes fell onto this leaf stuck in the fence. I examined it for a well placed googly eye or some wire sticking out of it simulating legs for a new fence-slithering-through creature. Oh, it's just a leaf. Oh, back in real life. Well, wait a minute ... here's some wire ... and a stick ... and an old twist-tie.

Outside the museum, for your after tour refreshments, Cafe Ruste, the name written in wire at the top.

Our mascots met for tea at the end of the museum tour.

Mascots shootin' the shit.

For more information, visit the Zymoglyphic Museum online.


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