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:



Squish

I don't know why it took so long for that term to come to me.  Before two minutes ago I was calling this thing a "Squirrmaid" and a "Merrrrrell".  None of these names could be considered accurate, however, I suppose a more scientific name would be something akin to Scuiridae Piscis. When it's all said and done though, Squish is just the easiest to say.



This is a piece from my most recent show at Michael Vincent Gallery; he is made from a grey squirrel hailing all the way from Ohio and a Coho Salmon from the Great Lakes..







I'm intrigues lately by the tagging and tracking of animals.  I expect to experiment more with this in the future.



Also, here is the raccoon (still awaiting a name from the recipient)I made for my husband, photographed the way he deserves:







Who, me?



If we catch you stealing, we will stuff you.

I think that was kind of the inspiration behind this piece which my husband, who runs an art supply shop, commissioned me to make last March.  I was fortunate enough to be gifted this road-kill racoon and when I told him what I had on my hands, he practically begged for me to make something special for him out of the specimen.  How could I refuse, really?  This man supported me all through school and has never once complained about sharing his home and his wife with my little army of fantasy creatures.  Creating a custom piece for this bastion of open-mindedness and support is really the least I can do.



Then he told me he wanted the racoon to be making a getaway with a money bag and I inwardly groaned.



How corny!   For some reason, cartoon characters, specifically the silly ones from the Warner Brothers stables, have always made me squirm.  Even as a child I found them intolerable.  It's a disdain I can't quite put my finger on, seeing as I can be a very silly person.  I suppose if I were to dig deep and play armchair psychologist for myself I'd say there is a particular stupidity to it all that most people find humorous but I don't because I fear the stupidity in myself.



I put my own opinion aside, however, and as I worked on Mr. Racoon I began to warm up to the idea of him being a thief.   The theme of raccoons as bandits is popular lore in many cultures and I found this interesting account of some Japanese Racoon dogs in the movie Pom Poko, which portrays them as mischievous little scamps.







He's hanging by one paw to the wall, and I gave him a hint of a smile with slightly upturned lips.  I sewed a bag from off-white canvas and made a $ stencil to paint the iconic symbol on said sack.  It was then filled with bottle caps, sewn shut and attached to Racoon's other front paw.







 



 



Here's a more pensive looking shot:







 



This was my first independent mount after finishing school and I can see how I might have done things differently had I been approached with this project today.  Overall though, I'm pleased, and so was my husband when he received his Christmas Racoon!



Adventures in Home Tanning

Most taxidermist send their hides to a tannery; it makes sense when the skins start piling up and the work looks daunting.  Plus, home tanning takes time and effort.  I figured I only have a couple of green hides though so I'd try it myself.



The process takes about three days, and I diligently checked and stretched my raccoon and deer cape each day at the same time.  The coon skin, being thinner, took less time and I was exceptionally pleased with the final result:







Here he is, drying out in our bathtub.  This situation right here has me convinced that I will have to employ a professional tanner in the future, as my house is tiny and the bathtub meant for people.







Here's the deer cape drying out the next day.  Unfortunately, I must've skinned it after some bacteria had taken up residence, because the fur was coming out in clumps.  I was somewhat beside myself seeing as this was the first deer I'd skinned all by myself and I was really gunning for a A+ hide, so I shoved it in the freezer for me to take out and deal with another time.







At least the raccoon was a success.  I taxied the skin onto the form; it's in a climbing position with some tight corners.  Sewing was definitely a challenge.  Here's his face, all pinned and carded up for drying.  This is a piece commissioned to me by my husband and he requested a mischievous sort of creature in the midst of a getaway after a bank heist.  I turned the lip up just a liiiiitle bit to indicate a grin, and the $ bag is almost done and ready to be attached to one of his little paws.







I spent about an hour blow-drying the fur; it seemed to take forever. But he dried very well and is hanging in my studio.  Today I will touch up his face and finish him.  Updates to come.

"Counting the days 'til archery season."

Today I got to skin a roadkill Coon for extra credit.  I'm starting to think that the grimy skinning is my favorite part of taxidermy.  I've been looking forward to this all week, getting some guts on my fingers and cutting loose with a surgical steel blade after all that intense modeling clay precision training.



Here's Coony's  busted jaw.  The inside was pretty bad; he bit right through his tongue.







His feet were so soft and fleshy; just like baby feet.







Here are the same feet, inverted.  Raccoons are notoriously fatty; the de-greasing process on their hides is quite time consuming.   The foot on the left has been skinned out, the one on the right still has the paw pads and fat.







I hung him from a meat hook, just like I did with the fox, and here I am at the head part.  I'd just cut the first ear out; it takes a little practice to become intuitive as far as when it's time to cut for the ears and eyes on these small mammals, especially when there is so much fat on the skin; it can obscure the flesh line. Of course I can't help but imagine what my own body would look like skinned, especially after marinating myself in good mountain dairy products and meat for almost two months.







Here he is, skinned down to the nose.  Along with all the fat on the hide, the carcass is positively covered with it.







OK, after this I'm done talking about fat.  But here's what I scraped off  the skin.  I like to bring in the local weeklies from Philly to use at my work station; the massage parlor ads in the back never fail to leave Mr. B fully scandalized.







Today on the radio I heard an old classic by my girl Shania.  For the life of me I can't understand why country music videos are so awful but here's another mind-numbingly stupid one.  It's a shame too because the song is cute and Shania is so boss, y'all.







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