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:



Pheasant: It's what's on your wall and my plate!


Here's a fun trophy mount I just finished for a new father & son hunting duo; the son harvested this gorgeous pheasant and wanted to preserve it.


 It goes without saying that I of course dined on pheasant for the next few days.  Then, fueled properly on bird juice, I set to mounting this creature.  Please forgive these photos; I waited until the client was literally in the parking lot of my shop to get around to shooting and the process was somewhat rushed.  The flash actually kind of makes the first photo look a bit like an action shot, right?
Right?


 I went with an open winged descent pose to display the full color and texture range of his feathers:




 The shot destroyed the tip of his beak and left several of his lil pheasant toes dangling from their foot source, so some restoration was required.


Ta-Da!



 Another oddly lit shot:


 Rearish view:
Not much else to say; client was pleased and so am I. 

I am aiming to really step up my technical game this year, and achieve complete realisation of the designs my head spins of dream taxidermy mounts.  I treasure commissioned jobs like this pheasant, the squirrels I just wrote about and pet preservation because it allows me the work to pursue my more artistic and far-out endeavors.
 I have grand visions for 2014; here's to ambition!

Getting out of the Rut.

A week or so ago, a local hunter contacted me via my Yelp page (speaking of which, why don't you stop over there and leave some feedback about my services, guys and gals?  I'd really appreciate it) in search of some professional help with a European deer skull mount he was just about finished working on when the antlers plumb dropped off.    Apparently , the buck was just coming out of rut when he harvested it, and somewhere in the skull cleaning process the antlers decided to fly the coop.



Full disclosure:  I am not certain that I am using the term "rut" correctly; conversations with hunters and the internet tell me it refers to the period of time when a buck is on the prowl; he beefs up (this much I know from seeing the thick mountains of line-backer neck muscle on trophy mounts caught mid-rut) and makes a lot of noise and fights and all the carnal things that go along with finding a mate.  I think the word rut can also refer to when their antlers fall out, which happens every year around late Autumn to early Winter, depending on climate and location.  If I am speaking out of term, please let me know in the comments section.  Perhaps, I could incorporate some posts from guest bloggers, as I've always been interested in hunting but remain outrageously uninformed.  Rest assured, potential clients, my ignorance should inspire confidence in my work!  It serves you well to hire a taxidermist who doesn't spend all her time in a tree stand when she should be working on your trophy mount.



All that said, here is the almost European mount, in three pieces.  The orange you see at the root of one antler is glue residue from a prior attempt to re-attach them, which proved unsuccessful.







Skulls are so beautiful.  Treat yourself and take a moment to marvel at how amazing this feature of our anatomy is.







The bottom of the antler.  The english-muffin-like texture of the break points makes sense; it facilitates the release of the horns instead of them just falling out with roots like some bloody teeth.







 



I drilled holes at all four connection point and inserted a steel bracing rod into each of the two on the skull.  After securing with epoxy, I shimmied the antlers onto the bracing rods, forming a perfect union.







It took some measuring and finesse to ensure that the antlers would "land" in the correct placement in relation to the skull, on top of that, I made pencil notches along the outside which would line up when everything was in place.







Now that the mount was back in one pice, I had to address the rough transition point between horn and skull.







I used some top secret taxidermist sculpting clay to create a transition surface and blended it all together.  While it dried I applied texture to match the natural surface of that particular part of the skull.







After it was set and dried, I painted the clay to further blend it all together.  Here is the finished product.  Unfortunately  the fuller picture I took came out blurry but this gives you an idea.  And the customer was satisfied which is all that matters in my book.







 



Happy hunting (what's left of it)!



 

Tastes like Chicken!

It appears to be squirrel season over here; I just skinned three last week and was gifted one more today.  Two of the three from last week were harvested by a friend and presented to me with the understanding that I would skin them and bring the meat to a BBQ in the near future.  I'm quite enthused about the sudden influx of small mammal specimen, seeing as I've got several deadlines looming nearby and I adore working with little furry creatures.



Here are the two which my friend caught.   I was impressed by what a good shot he is:  The first one got it right in the neck...







While the second took a shot right in the head.







I kept the bullet.  Or pellet, or whatever it's called.







This may seem cruel but the point is these creatures died instantly and that, to me, is humane.  The last thing it knew was scampering around happily and then-nothing.  I'll take nourishment from this kind of meat source over a mutated chicken with breast meat so abnormally large and cumbersome that it can't even walk five steps in its dark shitty pen, any day.



I marinated the meat in a mixture of Yuengling Lager, soy sauce and honey for 48 hours.  We threw it on the grill and let it cook for about twenty minutes.







The squirrel, plated.







I snatched a bit of the back-strap (most delicious cut of meat from deer, rabbits and squirrel) while it was being plated and bit into it, uncertain of what I'd taste.  It certainly smelled delicious, but this was a city squirrel.  It lived off of local compost so I guess you could say he ate well but...I was still wary.



The first taste washed all doubt away however, as salty sweet sizzling juiciness exploded in my mouth.  The mouth feel was tender and crisp.  Cries of "tastes like chicken!" could be heard from the kitchen as everyone took turns trying the new dish. Success!  I felt validated, I felt like I'd done something right.



I realise that to many people, eating squirrel is nothing new and such ado over this dish could read as discrediting a humble, naturally natural way of life or trying to make it a novelty.  I just want to express that to myself and my friends this was a completely new experience and a rewarding one at that.  I admire and aspire live the aforementioned way of life, where its just a day's work to harvest an animal and live off the land.



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