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:



Squirt.

This morning I was skinning a duck in preparation for a taxidermy demonstration I'll be giving on Saturday.  I plan on having some finished mounts as well as a cured skin to show various stages in the process.  Sounds fine right?  Except it's for children.  Children terrify me.  Last night I was envisioning speaking to them and I cringed at myself as I lay in bed, marveling at what a nerd these kids will think I am.   I was a kid once, and I know first hand they are cruel, and nothing people over the age of thirty do could ever be cool.



Wait, WHY do I care what a bunch of children think of me?  I guess at the end of the day I don't.  Amway, I'm thinking about all this as I skin my duck, and I'm at the head. I'm angling my brain-spoon around the back of the eye sockets to free the eyeball and SQUIRT!  A stream of black eyeball juice lands upon my shirt, my arm, my face, MY EYE.  I have duck eye juice in my human eyeball. This was the first time I popped one, and I never knew how inky the liquid is.  I wonder if it could be used as dye?







After cleaning up that mess I was able to focus on the task at hand, only to find a very broken wing.  Break one, humerus bone:







Break two, radius and ulna:







It's not really that big of a deal when wings are shattered like this but it does pose a challenge when skinning.  It's relatively easy to use the whole arm for leverage when working the skin off, but when the arm is just a pile of mush there isn't much to hold onto.



Thankfully I had my studio mascot there to keep me company while I worked.







Ever since I cleaned my studio and organised it in a fashion which is conducive to how I work, it's been a nonissue having the cats around. Frankie sometimes manages to sniff out any mouse tidbits I have hiding around but aside from that he doesn't care to get into the other animals.  It's very pleasant to have him sleeping at my feet in his little patch of sun while I work.



This is my newly cleaned studio.  It may look cluttered but I have a ton of stuff in a very small space.  Amazingly, everything has a home and I know where it lives.







Work table and mini freezer:







Supply shelving, windows, and Frankie!









"We're gonna jazz it around a bit."

Today I finished my first buck trophy mount; I'm ultimately pleased with my work.   The ears are carded and need a few days to dry, and then I'll detail the face with a little air brushing.







I got home from school to find Mr. M, the house cat, resting up after an emergency trip to the vet.  Apparently some feral cat (or coyote?)  had sunk its teeth into Mr. M's back and the bite had created an abscess which got infected.  I recalled feeling a small lump on his back but by the time Sunday had rolled around the boys told me it had opened and was leaking puss.



Ew.



So the vet had to stitch up the one bite mark and insert a drainage tube in the other.  When I walked in that afternoon, after sewing up deer hide all day, I looked at Mr. M for a moment, admiring the stitches and not mentally registering what had happened to the poor little guy.  "Frankenkitty", the boys called him.  Following over the next few days were the inevitable comments about what happens when one leaves their pet in the care of a taxidermist.







"You're gettin' all NCIS forensics on me now."

I finished mounting my squirrel today, here is the skin stretched over the form, sewn shut, but not tucked and pinned in the face:







BOO!







I think the blow-drying is one of my favorite parts.  I imagine clipping barrettes and bows on furry heads and tails.  Unfortunately my skin had some oily spots...possibly the grease had transferred from the inside to the outside via the many beebee holes in the pelt.  This will be remedied later after the mount has dried.







Finished mount, hanging in dead pose.  I took particular care when pinning the eyes to give it that "deathly downward gaze" appearance.







A guest taxidermist was in the shop today, skinning a porcupine.  Amazingly, he didn't prick himself once.  I had the bright idea of using a porcupine pelt as a bike helmet cover, and as usual was greeted with blank stares when I voiced this thought.







When Porcupine Guy learned about my penchant for wasting no part of the animal, he gave me a tooth from his specimen.  I was amazed to see how much marrow is stored inside those fangs.







I began skinning my fox, which had been shot by my classmate's husband and generously gifted to me. I spent about twenty minutes combing briars out of the fur with a metal comb before I could begin.







Briar pile:







For lunch, Mr. B treated us to lunch at the local diner.  He said we absolutely had to try the burger; it was an experience. When our meals arrived, I damn near crapped my pants.  The pattie was the diameter of the plate, with a regular sized bun sitting atop it, looking like some kind of joke.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera at the diner, but I took a picture of my leftovers.   This is the half of the burger I didn't eat.







After lunch we got a brief tour of the area, and Mr. B showed us around his property.  There was a duck pond, a skating pond, barns, tractors, a horse corral, a chicken coup, and acres of woods and fields.  I was a little overwhelmed.  Country life is so different.  It seems just as busy and crowded as city life but in a more autonomous way.



Back at the shop, I finished skinning my fox. The stench of a fox is mind-blowing.  Their diet consists mostly of skunk,  and the odor they emit can best be described as a combination of halitosis and burnt rubber.  I think I lost a little of my tough chick street cred with everyone when I started gagging.



I've always marveled over the colors found inside a skin and assumed it was bruising.  Apparently this greenish hue is actually oxidization on the pelt, which is one of the reasons taxidermists must work quickly.  Taking too much time to skin a specimen allows bacteria to set in, and then once you get the rot, you've got a spook.







We tossed the carcasses outside because they were so stinky.  Because the cold, they will remain undetected by other creatures until they can be properly disposed of.  I took it upon myself to saw the heads off, which had Mr. B in fits.







I guess I gained my street cred back.  It may seem disturbing, but I have a plan for these heads:











On the way back to the cabin, I dropped off "Little Ashes" at the rental joint and picked up Michael Jackson's "This is it".  It was too cold to play on my hoop so I watched a bit of the movie and went to bed at 7:30pm.
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