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:



Bird Bird Bird.

Bird is the word.  Here are some photos of a finished pheasant and a mallard drake I mounted for one of my favorite clients.  I finished these pieces a while ago but am only just now getting around to photographing them.
Unfortunately these pictures aren't so great; I didn't set up my back drop for the duck, and the pheasant was difficult to properly photograph because it's a hanging mount.  Alas:






































Quacker

Here's a quickie post about my most recent quacker.  A new client brought this gorgeous Mallard Drake to me a few months ago and waited patiently for his mount while I cruised, moved, etc.   He used the breast meat to make a lovely dinner for himself and his gal, which always makes me happy to hear.



Ducks are challenging but I love working with them.  The grease in the skin makes them much more labor intensive than a chicken or pheasant (which is why I think I need to recalibrate my pricing on birds) but as a result their feathers never seem to dry or get brittle like most of the chickens I work with.  Such handsome creatures.  There are scores of them at FDR Park where I like to run my dog, and I can't help but quack at them every time I pass by them with their cute duckie butts wiggling in the water.







 



Some people believe that the number of curly-q tail feathers corresponds to the duck's age, but I don't know if there's any truth to that.







Enjoy your new home, duckie!



 

"I like that Sheryl Crow, man. She can sing. Madonna though, she's a pig."

Tuesday, 1/12/10:



Today we finished our Mallard mounts; I'm pleased with what a nice specimen I was able to work with but not entirely stoked about the mount itself. I found the skinning  a challenge and spent extra time sewing up my holes:







I think the eyes are a little wonky and I realised too late that I secured the tail into place a bit crooked.  Mistakes like this can be remedied by corrective positioning, but I'd prefer not to make the mistake in the first place.  Here is the rear-view; tail feathers are taped in place for drying.







We then began skinning our hooded Mergansers, which I was very much looking forward to.  My heart sunk just a tad though when I made my first cut and saw that this duck was even fattier than the last one!







Speaking of grease, water fowl such as these two species have built-in  glands from which they can extract oil with their beaks to distribute all over their feathers and aid in flotation.  I cut them out of my Merganser and discreetly packed them away in my bag, hoping to discover a use for what surely must be nutrient-rich oil.  It seems like such a waste to me to keep tossing body parts in a garbage can.







Once home, I did a little research and found this product in which one of the main ingredients is duck preening oil.  I've read mixed reviews of the cream online, but I figure using the oil straight from the source with no chemicals can't hurt.  Besides, I've put stranger things on my face.  I'll keep you posted.



For these specimen, the original skull is used which means it remains attached to the head.  It can be tricky to invert without ripping the skin, especially when the head is on the larger side.  Also, it takes some finesse to cut away from the delicate ear/eye area. Here is mine, worked down to the beak.  After this the skull gets cleaned, which just might be my least favorite part.  Sorry, no pictures for that one.







My fellow student gave me some Venison steaks from a deer her husband had bagged.  She can't stand gamey-type meat so it was a relief to get it out of her fridge.  I was quite thankful and promised to give her a full report on the resulting meal.



When I got home I felt unusually tired so I skipped my hoop workout and drew a long hot bath instead while Sarah made dinner (leftover pork chops and salad). 



The tub is enormous and displayed exquisitely, as is everything else in the house.  Just to be silly, I scattered some flower petals over the water before easing in with my People magazine.







And yes, I was so blissed out that I took a moment to document it by taking a picture of my feet.  The tub was almost too big; it was difficult for me to stay upright since I couldn't reach the end.  I eventually just gave into it and sank down until just my nose poked out of the water.  I think I must have zoned out because the next thing I knew if was completely dark.  I got my cozy clothes on and went downstairs, built a fire and ate dinner with Sarah while we watched more "Flight of the Conchords".  Afterward we enjoyed some White Russians while I painted my nails.

"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:







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