Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

Exquisite Taxidermy Art and Design

© 2013 Diamond Tooth Taxidermy
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About Beth Beverly


I am a State and Federally licensed taxidermist who graduated from the Pocono Institute of Taxidermy in 2010 with high marks. I have a deep respect for this craft and those who strive to preserve it.

It is my pleasure to work on any trophy mount, be it a shoulder, life-size, rug, or fish.

I accept custom orders for fantasy mounts, wearables, and bridal hair pieces.

Sculptural mounts and hats are available for rental provided they are in stock at time of inquiry.

Contact me describing your wish and I will be delighted to make it so.


Diamond Tooth Taxidermy Blog:



BORROWED POST: THE FARMER'S HUSBAND, BABY PARADE

Get ready to gasp and ooh and ahh.  These are the cutest photos you will see all week.  All currently happening at the Farmer's Husband!

 

 

Baby parade 2013

April 24, 2013

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Deloris, the Guernsey x Toggenburg doe kid.
Sorry you haven’t heard from us much lately. We don’t have internet access at our new farm yet, and we’ve had lots of babies to squeeze. Lots and lots of babies. To date, our gals have produced 26 lambs and kids. Here is a photo list of who’s given birth to what on the farm this year. We will update as more kids hit the ground to help us keep them all straight, and to provide some cute babies for you to enjoy.
Goats
March 15, 2013, Gertie the Toggenburg doe gave birth to twin girls, sired by the Guernsey buck, Brady. Dolly, is a flaxen blond color and polled, and Deloris is a dark Sundgau color with gold markings and is disbudded.
Dolly and Deloris, Guernsey x Toggenburg goat kids. Born March 8, 2013.
Dolly and Deloris, Guernsey x Toggenburg goat kids. Born March 8, 2013.
March 24, 2013, Esther the Toggenburg doe had triplet girls. Dottie is a dark Sundgau pattern, with gold marking, and a white spot on her head, and is polled. Daisy is almost white with a bit of blond, and is disbudded. Daphne is almost white as well with a touch of gold, and is disbudded.
Daphne, Daisy, and Dottie Guernsey x Toggenburg triplets
March 31 (Easter day), Trixie the Sable Saanen doe had one boy and one girl. The boy was sold shortly after birth. The girl, Dixie, is very light blond in color, and is polled.
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April 3, 2013, Bramble the Guernsey (well mostly Guernsey) doe produced a boy and a girl, from Brady, the Guernsey buck. Dick is blond at the head, fading to red at the haunches, and is disbudded. Dorcas is solid ginger red from head to tail, and is polled.
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Dorcas and Dick, British Guernsey goat kids
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Dick and Dorcas, offspring of Brady and Bramble.
April 5, Banbury the Guernsey (HB2) doe had twin boys, from Brady, the Guernsey buck. Dudley is an even blond with small white spots on his face, and is disbudded.  Dexter is an even ginger red with white spotting on his face, and is polled.
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Dudley, the British Guernsey buckling
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Dexter, the British Guernsey buckling
April 6, 2013, Vapors, the Sable Saanen doe had twin boys. They were sold a few days later for pets/meat. They were both white.
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Vapors and boys.
April 9, 2013, Aggie, the Toggenburg doe had one boy and one girl. The boy was a flaxen gold color, and was sold for a pet or meat. Dusty, the girl, is a light flaxen color, and is polled.
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Thomas and Dusty.
April 17, 2013, Millie, the Nubian mix doe gave birth to twin boys. One boy is a medium gold color and has gone to live with our friend Meagan, and the other is a black and white cou blanc pattern with floppy ears. He is available for a pet/meat home.
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Calvin, the Guernsey, Nubian, Alpine mix
Sheep
March 27, 2013, Michelle, the East Frisian ewe had two ram lambs by our Katahdin ram, Cranston. They are both white, and are growing rapidly.
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Twin ram lambs. Katahdin x Friesian
March 31 (Easter) 2013, Maggie the Katahdin had triplets, sired by Marvin, the East Friesian ram. One boy and one girl (Wanda) are being raised by Maggie, and the other girl (Wendy) is being bottle fed, as she was rejected by her mom.
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Boy and Wanda, Friesian x Katahdin lambs
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Wendy, the bottle lamb. Friesian x Katahdin
April 3, 2013, Aster the Icelandic ewe had twin boys from Marvin, the Frisian ram. They are very fast growers, and are already looking delicious.
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Aster with her boys. Friesian x Icelandic.
April 13, 2013, Coco, the Icelandic ewe had 2 ram lambs from Cranston, the Katahdin ram. It will be hard to eat them, they’re so cute.
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Katahdin x Icelandic ram lamb.
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Katahdin x Icelandic ram lamb
We have a few more does due to kid in June, and will update this list as babies are born. The pure Guernsey boys are for sale. The ram lambs could also be for sale if they are of interest to anyone, but will most likely be finished in our pastures and sold as meat this autumn. All girls, both lambs and kids, will be kept for breeding purposes. A few older does may be available this autumn.

Self Portrait, the Wordy Version

If you've been following the show Immortalized, you most likely saw this coyote on last week's episode titled "Self Portrait":
Here are some photos I shot of Ruby the Coyote in my studio before shipping her out, back in October (Super storm Sandy to be exact- I remember because I rode my bike to Kensington that day with a pile of bubble wrap balanced on my handle bars, making every effort not to sail off into the sky)

Also, due to the time constraints of television, much of my verbal presentation to the judges explaining my interpretation of the theme wound up on the cutting room floor so to speak.  I am quite fond of this piece and felt strongly about my presentation so why not share it with you now?  Also, I incorporated some new techniques (new to me) into this mount and thought the nuts and bolts might interest you.
I wanted a coyote that looked fierce.  Menacing and vicious, lunging at any perceived threat.  Angry, hungry and tough as nails.  This is how I often feel, as an artist trying to follow her heart and blaze my own trail in a world where nobody gave me an instruction manual, and acceptance (from family, self and others) has been hard to come by.
Often times, following one's own dreams and making art a full time job presents a life riddled with frustration, poverty and hardship.  My nails are torn and atrocious from hands that take a tremendous amount of abuse.  Manicure?  Maybe when I'm dead and lying in my coffin* my hands will be still enough to warrant one.   My back is a tightly woven tapestry of knots from the internalized stress of hustling for ways to pay this or that and still maintain a fairly decent life.  I've made a shitload of sacrifices to pursue my art and sometimes I'm jealous when a car full of warm, dry folks cruises by me as I huff down Delaware ave on my bicycle in the bitter cold.  That said though, this is the life I chose and the physical, temporary challenges are beyond worth it to feel the way I do when I wake up in the morning and know I am free to be exactly who I am.

Along with feeling snarly and fierce, I think I project this image as well.  I can be intimidating to strangers who only see bleached hair, combat boots and torn clothes on the chick blowing snot-rockets onto cars parked in the bike lane.  Just like the ridge hair that stands up on this coyote's back because she's threatened and needs to appear larger than she is, a good portion of my bravado is making sure nobody mistakes me for a doormat.  


Here's a look at what I started with for this mount: I used a commercial coyote manikin and began with cutting it in half  to hollow out the chest cavity where the kitten would sit.  Once this was done, the two halves had to be rejoined.  I used a strong adhesive and reinforced the seam with wooden skewers.

 

I lined the inside with a hardening epoxy that would create a uniform and solid surface upon which I could lay lights and rhinestones.


Now the form was ready to be wired for electricity.  My friends over at Scenery First helped me out here- we wired up the proper length of cord to an LED light track, soldered it together and ran it down the along the inner thigh of the form.  It terminated in a jack that would be plugged into the other half of the cord upon installation, which was nestled into the steel base (also created by Scenery First)





I aimed the lights inward in order to illuminate the crystals and fill the chest with light.

 



                                                                         Tada!




Which brings me to the kitten element of this self portrait.  Being autonomous and pursuing my dreams without any higher power to really tell me how can be scary.  Being a woman in a typically male dominated trade has left me feeling tiny and alone at times, not unlike this kitten who is the poster child for vulnerability.  This particular specimen was a barn kitten, brother to Cookie Salad, another barn kitten who is thriving and well up at my darlings' farm in Cobelskill NY. Like most kittens, he was adorable and craved touch, connection.  This I can relate to.  I believe many of us can.  We long for human connection but it can be such a tightrope walk as we attempt to avoid getting hurt.  Most of the shitty behaviour in the world can be attributed to our fear of being hurt by someone else, I think.

I've embellish med my presentation a bit here but that's the gist of what I stood and said in front of the judges on the show.  Another part that didn't make it to air but I find quite fascinating is how I resolved the issue of not having a form to use for the kitten hide.  What I wound up doing was my first carcass cast, which I now swear by as far as making custom forms.
First I made a negative mold by pouring a latex solution into my container.  The kitten carcass was inside, frozen into the desired position.



The tricky part was time.  The solution needed at least 6 hours to set, and this carcass would start thawing as soon as I took it out of the freezer.  I could only hope that it wouldn't slump out of position as the hours passed.  
The moment of truth:
  


Perfection!  It reminds me of Hans Solo trapped in whatever that stuff was.

 
Here's the negative mold. The carcass has been removed and the next step is taping the mold back together inside the container and pouring expanding foam inside to make the positive mold.



Classic first timer's blunder- I used way too much foam!

It took over an hour to chip and chisel away into the mold and dig out this little gem.  Completely worth it though!   Look at the detail on his little ribs!


After altering the form a little bit, and prepping it, I taxied the skin on.  
In case you were wondering, yes, from time to time I cry while I work- especially when the subject it little baby animals.

 
Meanwhile, I was lining the inside of the coyote chest with Swarovski crystals.  This took fifteen hours at least.

 


One of the last steps was fitting the stand with custom cut mirrored acrylic.  This was to convey the surprise underneath the coyote while keeping everything at the  correct eye level.  As the viewer approaches, they see the coyote with all the chandelier beads, mimicking intestines,  dripping down and a burst of light form her chest.  The beads draw the eye down to the mirror which reflects the kitten above.  This entices the viewer to then approach and look directly underneath. 




Hi!




                                                                     C'est tout!






*That scenario will never occur because I intend to be cremated.









































Perhaps the only nursery I'll ever feel comfortable in.

Today I was gifted with an unexpected litter of little ones while skinning what I had initially thought was just a chubby mouse.  I was splitting her open and couldn't seem to keep the guts under wraps, so to speak.  I just kind of figured I'd have a messy one on my hands and then I really looked at what was spilling from inside the carcass.  Two little fetuses!  I gasped, apologised to the mouse and left the studio to collect my thoughts.











I'm constantly surprised at what rattles me in this practice; I'm OK with death, guts, blood, gore, just about everything that comes with the territory.  This marks my first encounter with a pregnant specimen, however, and I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't break just a little bit.  I recalled finding the mama mouse on the sidewalk while on a jog through South Philly and sticking her in my spandex so I could get home and put her in the freezer.  While I ran, I speculated on the cause of death, which I assumed to be poison seeing as it had no marks and was just lying right in the middle of the concrete.



Then I thought about how I never find female specimen; I'm always skinning male mice, male squirrels, male foxes, and lamenting over how annoying it is to work around their genitalia.  I get my first female and she's a total doozy!



I collected myself and got down to business, extracting each adorable little unborn mouse from the carcass and burning sage for every one, which totaled 8.  EIGHT!  I can't believe there was room for all of them.  Most still were encased in their umbilical sacs:











I carefully freed them all from their casing and laid them all out. Each one was in just a slightly different position; some had arms outstretched while others kept their itty bitty paws crossed.  I saw what was clearly the runt of the litter, much tinier and paler than the others with an underdeveloped left foot.  I imagined the types of personalities they might've developed had they come to term, and then I thought about something a friend said to me once' about fetal positions.  I'd been remarking to her about how I constantly sleep in this one pose with my arms up and crossed behind my head, to the point of cutting off my circulation nightly.  She suggested that perhaps I'd slept like that in the womb, and the notion stuck with me.



So what am I doing, a taxidermist assigning personalities to unborn mouse fetuses?  My instructor would laugh at me if he were to read this.  The very hunters whose business I desire might wonder just why they should entrust me with their fresh kills.  Well, I guess having emotions doesn't affect my skill set.  Perhaps this experience just triggered something in me, seeing something so tiny and vulnerable that never even got a chance.  When I resumed skinning the mouse, I saw that the cause of death was a blow to the head.  Her skull was cracked and bleeding internally.  Note the dark red spot on the head:







Maybe she fell, or got hit by something, I'll never know.  But I feel honored that I was the one to find and preserve her and her family, saving them from an undignified end like rotting on the street.  I hope my honestly as far as how this experience has affected me feel doesn't rob me of any street cred, per-se, in the eyes of potential clients.  What I'd like to convey is that I understand death is a part of the way we live, I accept it, I embrace it, and I treat the dead with respect and compassion.  I think this philosophy holds true with most taxidermists; something the general public would be surprised to learn.



As I write this, I've got my litter sitting in a jar, preserving, keeping me company.  My morbid little nursery.







Next up was a baby bird, of sorts, one that deserves his own post.  More to come!  For now, I need to turn up the volume on the Bill Burr podcast I'm listening to so I can drown out the sound of what could possibly be my biological clock ticking away.
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