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:



pssssst: hi.

What's that I hear?  Is it the pitter pater of little hooves in my studio?







Behold Lambie, the extremely young baby Katahdin lamb whom I had been referring to as a baby goat until last month.  Clearly I need to do some boning up on my animal husbandry.



Here is Lambie in tanned skin form back when he still was a goat to me:











I'm also not sure if Lambie is a he or a she.  I don't think I properly sexed him when I skinned him ("what kind of taxidermist IS this chick?" I can almost hear you thinking...) but I like to think of him as a tender little boy who prefers the color pink.  This is why he chose to wear the vintage pink velvet flower cage veil to keep the shivers off his delicate tresses.







Lambie was part of a brother/sister combo, born together but one thriving more than the other, the latter being my guy here.  The famer-lass who tended to this flock opted to donate her specimen to Diamond Tooth and for that I am eternally grateful.







Since no lamb forms are readily available, I used a fawn form which I then altered drastically in size and head shape.  I used glass cat eyes which I turned sideways to mimic the sheep's horizontal pupils.











Lambie has become something of a mascot around the studio; he's even slated to be the subject of a painting next month.  So proud of my little guy!  Eventually he'll need a forever home though; please contact me if you or the luckiest person you know might want to love this little darling forever and ever.



Adios and hola Hector

Meet Hector:







About two months ago I got a frantic call from a woman who spoke very little english but found my info on Yelp after her chihuahua's sudden death and her subsequent decision to have him preserved.  Pair her muy poqueno English with my very limited Spanish and you get one very stilted conversation.  I was able to text my address to her so she could have it in writing and when she dropped off her little guy she was so upset.  Because of the language barrier, my usual line of questioning in which I feel out the client to suss out if this is really something she wants done (or are they making a grief induced, regrettably rash decision) and tenderly discuss options in regard to poses, all the while trying to provide some comfort- all that went out the window.  Payment options and pricing were sorted out immediately and I acted out several posing options on the floor since I was caught off-guard without any photo examples.







She expressed to me that she wanted Hector in the pose you see above, since that's how he would sit on the window sill and wait for her to come home from work each day.











Unfortunately she had not one photo of Hector to give me a better idea of his facial expression and sadly, didn't tell me that he was always smiling with his giant row of teeth exposed.  When she came to pick him up yesterday, although she was pleased with the work and wanted to take a stack of business cards so that she may pass them onto her employers ("white people crazy for their pets" -guilty as charged!) I could tell she was disappointed that Hector wasn't wearing his trademark grin.  I'm saddened over this but there is nothing I can do at this point.  I never thought to ask, she never thought to tell.  I have to chalk it up to the learning process and in the future keep this feature in mind.







Another feature which is new to me is genitals.  Sure I deal with them every time I skin something but this was the first time I tackled the job of mounting them.  Okay, deep breath, lets shake off our fourth grader giggles right now before I proceed.



.............................



Alright.  So, due to this pose with legs spread and belly exposed, there was no avoiding the genitals. A blank spot would just seem bizarre. So, I mounted my first dog penis and testicles. It was surprisingly easy once I shook off the pervy feelings in my head over handling something I would most likely never touch in any other circumstance.







But that's something I love about my craft.  It's a never-ending string of unusual circumstances that keep me out of that mundane trance life can lure you into, which can make some people forget they're alive.  I have never felt more alive than when I'm dealing with death.







Adios, Hector.  It was great working with you.

The Year of the Cat









 



Well, it almost took a year. It was a hot Summer day, I believe, when S, my client (not sure if she's want her name used here so I'll just stick to a one letter initial) called me and requested I pick up her recently departed best feline friend.   Someday when I have more articulate thoughts running through my mind I'll delve into all the emotional trappings of pet taxidermy, but for now I'll keep it brief.  It's awkward and sad, picking up the deceased member of a family.  I feel clumsy and don't know what to do with my hands.  I feel guilty if I find something funny.  It's a kind of turmoil, and the only thing that helps me through it is admitting that I feel awkward and weird and moving on from there.  I feel like I'm connecting with people whom I've barely known on a level so deep and raw that it's like hitting a nerve out of nowhere.



But I do know S.  I've been getting to know her. She's a delightfully sensitive and wonderful being, with what I suspect is a morbid sense of humor but I haven't seen it quite yet.



Anyway, meet her cat:







Poor baby was sick for a while and had received some kind of shot or treatment, hence the shaved arms.  Aside from that she was a beautiful specimen.  It took me forever to get the form down; it was basically hand sculpted over the entire period of time.  I refrained from too much embellishment as I knew S might want to add her own personal touches.  For no particular reason I incorporated a crystal ball for her to lean on, as though she were showing S the future from the other side.







 



I want to hear purring when I look at this photo.  Lets not ever forget how magical cats are.







I figured a pillow would be a suitable base, as she is a regal creature.  And I guess that's it.  I'm tired and need to be on a plane in a few hours.  More on this shortly, when I have my wits about me.



Twenty for twenty

I was chatting with friends at polo a few weeks back and two of them, almost simultaneously said, "I could see Kat Von D in your hats."



My reaction was "Really?  Wow."  I'd never seen LA Ink but I've seen many photos of her-and I love her look.  She's absolutely stunning.  "Too bad she has no idea who I am," I sighed, defeated, ready to move onto another topic but my friend persisted, "No, ding-dong, just send her a hat."



This sentence rolled around in my head for a while and set into motion a brainstorm which gave birth to my newest project, an interactive "piece" I am calling Twenty for Twenty.



I began by simply imagining that Kat had put an order in for a custom hat and said, "Beth just make it me.  However you see me."  I went with my heart and created the hat you see pictured in this post.  As I worked on it, I took a moment to really explore this feeling coursing through me, this in-the-zone elatedness I get when I'm not even thinking about my work but just letting my hands and eyes do all the talking.  I began to embrace this feeling of following my heart and creating something wonderful even though nobody asked for it.  There was no demand. Not yet.



That didn't seem to matter to me at the time.  I just focused on custom work and how right it feels.  I thrive on connecting with (nice, good) people and creating for them.  It just feels right.







After I finished Kat's hat, I was re-reading segments of an online book called "The Art of Earning" by Tara Gentile.  Toward the end there is a passage which inspired me to turn this good feeling about custom pieces and reaching out to people into a project. I decided to come up with a list of twenty individuals whom I've never met  but have been inspired by in some capacity or another. Some of them I'm just a plain fan of.  I would reach out to each of these people and make a connection through my work.  Like good old-fashioned fan mail!



This ties in to my love affair with the postal service.  Anyone who knows me well has received a note from me at some point in our friendship.  I love sending thank you notes.  At times when we are more organised, my mister and the kiddies and I would create our own holiday greeting cards to mail out each year.  I'm a sucker for that tangible piece of "hello" from the mailbox.  Like a long, convoluted paper-cup-telephone on a string.



I complied my list of twenty, and began the process of reaching out to them.  Some are more accessible than others (twitter is amazing for this), and some might never happen.  It's hard to tell (any of you guys tight with Gwen Stefani's team?)  But the responses I've gotten so far have been overwhelmingly positive and I'm so very excited to reveal more names (and why I'm inspired by them) in future posts.  I'm hoping that by following through with this brainchild, I can not only get more of my product on more people's bodies (I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a hint of self-promotion in this) and gain some exposure, but also to fully express the gratitude I feel towards individuals whom I am happy to know exist in this sometimes glum and banal planet.  Also, I want to remind people how rewarding it is to receive a gift in the post, a piece of art that someone spent hours of their own life to make.







And that, my friends, is that.  I'm tapping into something deeper than taxidermy and hats, so bear with me as I explore this.  I'd love to know your thoughts.



For now, here is Kat's hat.







I used one of my gifted vintage bases and spent oodles of time fastening the perfect chicken wing and feathers/pelt to it.







Inspired by her military meets goth meets doll type style, I used an vintage Trifari gold tasseled baton brooch and tied it all together with some chains and such.











Up next: My larger than life and circus inspired piece for The Fashion Turd!



That sure went fast.

It seems like just the other day I was paying a solemn visit to a friends' house to retrieve a recently deceased gosling pet.  While I had initial success mounting Bobby, acquiring the perfect wings took some time.  Patience paid off however, and I was rewarded with a delicious squab which provided the perfect shade and size wings as well as a nutritious and wonderful meal.    After the entire piece was finished drying, I gave him a healthy coat of fairy dust to ensure maximum sparkle while poised atop the tree:



 







 



Merry Christmas!



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