Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

Exquisite Taxidermy Art and Design

© 2013 Diamond Tooth Taxidermy
Stacks Image 109

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:



If there WAS a hat contest, you would've won the whole thing.

Last Sunday I took my gals back out to the Brandywine Polo Club for the 1st annual Philadelphia Cup.  This time we didn't work so hard; we just snagged ourselves some VIP tickets and hung out in the tent with the open bar (where the bartenders were pouring the BlueCoat with very heavy hand, if I may say so.  No complaints!).  While bringing our own tailgating supplies is fun too, on a super hot day it's nice to have the luxury of a VIP tent and everyone else doing the work.  Plus a DJ.  You's almost forget why we were there...







Oh yes-the game!  In between getting to know some of the members and networking with my hats  (it really was too bad there wasn't a hat contest but I'll take being showered with attention any day) we caught some excellent polo-pony action, and luckily wound up rooting for the winning team!







However, I think it's agreed that we all know who the REAL winners are.  My fascination with all things anatomical has me quite interested in horses; particularly polo ponies.  It takes a certain breed of horse to play polo; one that is shorter in the back and able to turn on a dime, one who is also capable of short bursts of speed comparable/greater than that of a race horse.  I imagine they're pretty intelligent too, as some basic understanding of what they're tying to achieve on that field must be present.  I can't help but marvel at their graceful, delicate looking ankles and how they hold up all that weight while gracefully trotting, running, turning, ect.  Having dissected a horse leg myself (I'm still working on the shoe; updates next month I swear) I have  a more vested interest in seeing these muscles in action for reference, as well as appreciation.



Those bandages on the front keep them from getting hurt when they get inadvertently whacked with a stick.







Speaking of sticks, one fo the female players from the winning team happened by and chatted us up while we admired the horses.  She was a darling by the name of Kathy Whitman and even gave us a brief lesson in hitting the ball.







That's Rachel Lynn K, our photographer for the day, and as you can see a real beauty.  All the ladies wore my hats swimmingly.







And look who we ran into!  One of my adversaries from hat parade past, Lauren St. Clair!  It's more fun to compete with people you really like, so we've become fast friends.  She even invited us on one of her gastronomical adventures taking place later in the day.  If you haven't heard about her eating her way through Philly, act like you know, fool.  Where all the food goes on that little frame is beyond me, though.



I know, I need a tutorial on how to mug for pictures.  I look like some kind of crazed animal.







Here's Eva in my squirrel hat; she was gracious enough to wear it and I think it gave her super powers....the unexpected side effect of wearing taxidermy on your head!







At halftime we all went out on the field to stomp the divots and surprise a sweet little red Ferrari (OK, I know nothing about cars so that's all you get) drove out on the field with Miss. Philadelphia sitting on the back with Maria Papadakis, both of them waving to the crowd.  While they're pretty and nice and all, the REAL sweet stuff was in the trunk which was filled to the brim with bottles of Veuve!  Those were promptly opened and we all enjoyed a toast ( or two or three) on the field.



When the game resumed we all took turns imagining ourselves driving such an exquisite piece of machinery.











Back in the tent, my hat was still commanding plenty of attention.  These ladies were pretty bummed about Mexico losing their world cup game earlier in the day but I think petting my duck lifted their spirits somewhat.







Handsome creatures:















And the winners!  What a fantastic day.



Some of these things were never like the others...

Here are some new pieces that I just got around to getting decent pictures of, thanks to my full time live-in photographer James Coughlin.  You can see more of his work  at Snap Blam Splat.  Honestly, I don't know what I would do without him.  Well, I do actually, I would pay through the nose to rent the equipment and go insane trying to figure it all out. Dude makes a wicked tie-dye too.



This is the hen from a month back; I just got her back from the "Other Nature" how at BahdeeBahdu, which received a nice write-up on Cool Hunting.  I wound up going with the name "Nascita Typica".



















This is the hat I wore to the Polo Cup;it's a female Bufflehead which has been embellished beyond the point of no return.



















And this is the male Bufflehead hat I wore to the Devon horse show a couple of weeks ago.  He's naturally flashy so I let his real colors shine.











Hat Parade High Jinks

Last week my gal-pal Sarah and I trotted out my two new hats to the Devon horse show and participated in the hat parade.  I went the conservative route in terms of design, something I'm happy I tried but don't think I'll do again.  Notice how both birds are completely lacking in embellishment. I figured I would embrace the beauty nature had given them but in the end I feel like they fell short.  Plus I only came in third. I think if I'd gone with my gut I would've swept the whole thing.







As soon as I snatched up my yellow ribbon Sarah and I embarked on our mission of getting as intoxicated as possible on the free Cartier Champagne in the judges stand. I, to ease the crushing sense of failure and disappointment in seeing what I felt entitled to go to someone else.  Sarah, well she just likes free booze. We brown bagged a fifth of voddie, bummed some smokes off a carnie or two and called it a day.







You can take the girls out of Philly...but you can't make them drink.  Rather, you can lead a fillie to water, but...



Oh nevermind I've got to get back to work on a new hat.  Sunday is another hat contest and I'm going armed with the knowledge of how these things work this time.  Well, not really because I'm still clueless.  Pretending to be wealthy is exhausting; I can't wait until I actually am the real McCoy just so I can relax already and kick my feet up without worrying someone will see the trace of a neon green sticker on the bottom of my second-hand Ferragamos.



Until then, I will keep faking it until I make it.  I'll check in again after the Polo Cup so set your eyes to tranquil because my next post will be full of BLUE.

Duck Doilies

I've been working on two male Bufflehead ducks the last few days, and shoot are they full of fat.  They're also gorgeous.  Sorry I don't have any pictures of the exterior at this point but they're tanning right now; I'll post images later.  Besides, all the pretty iridescent feathers are covered in fat and blood.  Gender role reversal is a constant thought running through my head while I work on birds; the males are always so pretty and flashy in order to attract the females while the "fairer sex" is usually drab and brown in order to blend in and protect her young.  In humans it seems to be quite the opposite although I suppose with there is a flashy breed of male out there...but for the most part its us gals doing the primping.  I also find worth noting that the male ducks seem to have much more fat on them than the females, at least the ones I've worked with so far.  The two female Buffleheads I worked on took considerably less time to degrease than the males I just finished up with.







I don't have a degreasing machine yet so I've been doing the dirty work by hand.  It's a slow, tedious task but one I enjoy.  As someone who relishes the satisfaction of successfully extracting gunk from clogged pores, the site of a fat-covered pelt waiting to be trimmed excites me.  It's an easy solution; no thinking involved really.  It does take concentration though, since just underneath all that fat is tissue-paper-like skin.







It's common to wind up with little holes in your skins when degreasing by hand, hence the term "duck doilies".  I don't mind so much; it's just more sewing work down the road.



Here's a visual on how fatty these boys are.  The left circle is pre, the right one, post.  It gets tricky cutting just the right amount off without going through the skin.







This is all the fat blobs I got off the last one.  See all the oil in the paper?  I feel like I should be cooking with this stuff.







More holes...







More lipo....







More holes..







Here's the second female I mounted last week.  I'm using her for a hat that I plan to enter into a fancy hat parade of sorts, an event which is part of the Devon Horse Show.  I want to make several head pieces and convince some of my girlfriends to wear them around the fair while handing out cards for me.  This hat is obviously far from finished but I'm very pleased with the positioning.  I think it will most certainly turn some heads.







Stay tuned!



Manicures for bears and busted skulls

I skinned two ducks the other day; the guy who shot them really did a number on one in particular.  I originally was going to post some pre-skinning pictures but it occurred to me that it might be a tad too graphic.  Let's just say that the head was crushed, legs were broken and wings were bent.  Definitely a fixer-upper.



Here's the skull itself; perhaps you can imagine how distorted it may have looked with the skin on.







I actually don't mind so much when the head's a bit smashed; it makes the skull easier to clean as I don't feel the pressure to be so gentle with all the little nooks and crannies.  Every time I clean a bird skull, I hear my instructor's voice in the back of my head: "Just attack it.  Attack that skull."  And that's what I do.  I get it as clean as possible and have even developed some of my own techniques post-school to achieve maximum spotlessness.  Ducks have a fair amount of brains, (of which extracting is my favorite part of the process) and I'd like to try brain tanning sometimes soon.



After spending two days skinning the chicken and the two ducks (most seasoned taxidermists would have had all three skinned, degreased and mounted in one day, by the way) I couldn't get my mind out of the dissection zone and everything around me was looking like a specimen.  This happens to me from time to time and it can be difficult to shake.  I look at everyone's knees and see the tendons I've so effortlessly been slicing on birds.  I feel around my throat with my hand and conjure a mental image of a my slit wind pipe, open and exposed right next to my draining jugular.  I pet my cats and think how easily the tail skin slips right off the bones of a mouse.



As grotesque and disturbing as it may sound, please rest assured that I am not about to go all Norman Bates on everyone.  I'm just seeing things very anatomically right now.  Once you become intimate with the sight, smell and touch of the insides of a creature ( a mouse's delicate and miniature intestines, for example) you don't look at them the same.   I'm sure Med students must go through this in spades.



Speaking of mice:







These guys/this guy isn't finished yet; I still need to fix up the faces and add in eyes.  Its kind of a Siamese twin mouse.  I bought these feeder mice (already dead and frozen) from a pet shop; and intend to throw the carcasses into the alley down the way for all the hungry stray cats so they won't go to waste.



And while all this was going on I was adding coat after coat of polish to my bear paw.  It took some brainstorming to devise a method in which I could paint the nails without the fur getting in the way, but I'm on the right path.







Finger condoms!

"Easy, Biscuit"

Monday, 1/11/10:



I managed to get my hands on a deer and an avian grab bag of sorts over the weekend which I was super excited about bringing into school today.  So excited, in fact, that I got on Rt 80 the wrong way and by the time I corrected my mistake and made it to school I was half an hour late.  I walked in on the middle of a fish demo.  We are in the midst of the bird course but a friend of Mr. B's is dying of cancer and called him over the weekend begging him to mount this trout that he's caught, ASAP as he only had however many days/weeks left.  I hear so much about cancer; it seems that everyone in B's family has survived/succumbed to at least one form of it, and the other student is all too familiar with it as well.  Is it a mountain thing?



Amway, he began by hand carving a form out of foam, and then gutting the fish.  The skin was stretched over the form and sewn shut in back .  I'm simplifying, obviously, because I can't be giving the entire process away...



Here is the trout face, with paper towels keeping the cheeks puffed out.   They will be removed later.  Look at that tongue!







Bottom view of head-Epoxy will be applied after drying to fill in gaps where form is exposed.



Bottom view of head; you can see the foam form peekng through a bit.  This will all be epoxied over after drying time.



Mounted Trout, with fins carded to keep them in an attractive and spread condition.







After the Trout was mounted and drying, we began skinning our Mallard ducks.  I found this to be more challenging than pheasants, since they are so fatty.  I managed to put several holes in my skin when degreasing it.  A slight reprise though came when I simply cut the entire head out of the duck, instead of inverting it and needing to clean the skull, which is SUCH a drag.  Apparently the beaks on Mallards simply have too much fleshy tissue on them so the method of choice is to airbrush artificial heads and stretch the skin over them.  Here is my removed duck neck and head.







I'm learning more and more about regulations on what I may and may not possess as a taxidermist.  The amount of permits I need to acquire to do just about anything is dizzying and somewhat disheartening, but I'm determined.   In class, I'm a frequent inquirer, constantly asking "do people eat that?", "How do you kill those?" and today my queries included but were not limited to making Trout-skin purses, the degree of edibility of fish eyes and applications for duck fat.  The answers I receive aren't always enthusiastic but I think he's accepting the fact that I won't stop pressing.



After school I went home and practiced on my hoop in the barn.  I'll take some video of that shortly; it's a fun structure to spin in.   My hosts stuck around and made dinner for Sarah and myself.  I brought her up to keep me from feeling too lonely and to give her an opportunity to work on some essays for school in a quiet environment.  Over dinner we learned the completely astounding circumstances which brought R & W to their dog, E.  A story book detailing this caper is in the works so I can't say much more but to say it's nothing short of mind-blowing would be the undeniable truth.



After our meal, the boys left to drive back to Philly and Sarah and I relaxed with Martinis (her first!) and "Flight of the Conchords".



Oh, and here's a taste of the local grocery experience:







See More Posts…

Back to the top of the page