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:



"A pice of ass that'll make you cry."

More airbrushing today.



Groan.  Here I am, working my magic:







Side note- living a basically solitary life has rendered my wardrobe choices unchecked.  I wear whatever I want every day without considering who will see me, and I really feel that I'm tapping into my inner free fashion spirit that died a bit when I was a kid and realised people say things that make you want keep your true colors tucked away.  I'm having a wardrobe revolution!



Here is my Blue Gill, all finished.  Not terrible, but I was getting super frustrated with my airbrush and made several mistakes.  I really don't like airbrushing.







I do like fish teeth though.







Finished Perch.  This one turned out better than the rest.







And here is my finished Rainbow Trout:







There's some amusing graffiti about a mile from the cabin.  Oh, kids.  I wonder what they do out here?  Smoke weed and spray paint abandoned buildings I guess.







I'd like to think that if I ever had children, I would raise them out in the country...but judging from the ever-present meth problem out here, and lack of teen-oriented activities, I wonder if it's really any better than the city.  I take that back, actually.  I'll bet there are teen-oriented activities but I just don't know any teens.







I went home and worked out, then reconnected with an old friend on the phone.   Movie du jour was "Whatever Works" which was surprisingly delightful, and I have to admit that Evan Rachel Skank is actually great in it.  So good in fact, that I forgot it was her.

"You ain't never used a chainsaw before? Country virgin!"

Today we began airbrushing our fish.  I quickly realised that this is NOT my forte.  I actually prefer the way the fish look dried and pre-painted, no eyes.  Just shells of themselves.  Here's my Blue Gill:







Same fish, now with eyes and some coloring:







Her's my Perch, dried and pre-paint:







All fish have anal vents.  For a competition mount, omitting that feature would probably ruin any chances of placing.  Poop shoots are recreacted with sculpting epoxy.







Here is one of my Trouts with his artificial head and eyes:







Here is another Trout with original head and epoxy coating:







This Trout had a gimp fin; it was just a little nub.  Apparently this is a common defect in fish raised in hatcheries who are then released into lakes.  The hatcheries are cramped and they don't have room to properly mature.  Sometimes I think living in a city does that to people.



I replaced the offending part with a spare fin from another fish.







It was a bitter cold day, and windy to boot.  I took the scenic route home in an attempt to familiarize myself with the area.  I found a post office and a really intriguing property near the cabin where I'm staying called "tequila-ville".  I intend to walk by later and get a closer look, as well as photos.

"You're in like flynn."

Moooooooore fish.



Here is me carving a form for my Perch:







And here is my headless Trout:







Some taxidermists prefer to use artificial heads for fish like Trout and Salmon because the heads shrink significantly during the drying time.  There is also oil stored in the head cavity which must be removed, and then covered up aith sculpted epoxy.  It's more work, more time, and in commercial taxidermy not economical to fuss over something that can just be tossed out and replaced.







Sewing up my Perch:







I enjoy skinning fish as well as carving the forms.  Honestly though, I'm not excited by  fish wall mounts.  It does nothing for me.  Given my druthers, I'd be making a mermaid instead.



I drove home straight from school for an aerial gig that fell through.   Long story short, I'm learning that red tape, and how I choose to maneuver my way through it, will be a major theme in my life for the next year or so.



Here's me playing God with static in my room.







Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

"You're about to get real stinky."

Today we began the fish course.  The other student was absent so I got a head start, which wound up being a good thing since she works about twice as fast as I do.  I learned how to measure the fish properly and carve a form for it out of a simple block of blue foam.  I used a trout (a Brook trout I think, but I could be wrong; they all start to look the same to me).  Then I skinned it and cleaned out all the flesh, which was rather odorous.



Next came stretching the skin over the form and sewing it shut.  Fins were carded to set in place and the specimen put aside out to dry for three days.







I can honestly say the stench didn't bother me that much.  After a few minutes you just get used to it.  And yes, I was drinking coffee the entire time, grabbing for my white mug with my gut covered hand and thinking nothing of it.  I was perplexed that no one had wanted to eat these fish, but Mr. B informed me that one of the students from a year ago had caught so many that they did in fact eat them, about 5o of them and  the rest were frozen.  I guess after a certain amount of time they're rendered inedible due to freezer burn.  Am I crazy for looking at the guts in my hands and being tempted to shove the in my mouth?  Especially the cheek meat!  I remember visiting friends in Basque, when my husband and I went to Saint Sebastian and tried the eat of a fish's cheek on bread.  It was unpararelled oral delight.   I am eager to buy an entire fish back home and get some of that for myself, as well as a beautiful mount.



I mounted another trout, this one I added some motion to the form to make the fish seem to be swimming:







Next I carved a form for a Blue Gill.







They're much smaller than Trout and have very large scales which made skinning a challenge.







I opened up to my instructor a bit about what my intentions with taxidermy are, and he showed me some old books featuring "novelty taxidermy" which has been around for longer than I'd imagined.  Perhaps I was a Victorian in a past life!







That afternoon I practiced my hoop and then sat in the side room by the wood burning stove with the guys and worked on a cross word puzzle.  I had to shower the fish smell off before I could eat dinner (I have limits!) and enjoyed chicken with steamed brocoli and risotto for dinner, with cranberry cosmos.



Between the deer and moose meat given to me by my instructor and the royal treatment I receive from my hosts, I am officially being spoiled rotten.

"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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