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:



Le Lapin Cocquette

Voila!



Below is a video I put together documenting my awkward yet successful foray into rabbit stew.  I've prepared rabbit dishes several times, all of them okay but coming up short.  This time I knocked it out of the park.







This is what it sounds like-

A buddy of mine went dove hunting last week and brought me back a present.  This will be my second attempt at a mourning dove; the first one was a wash, a very humbling experience.  This one was...slightly better.



I can't quite articulate how fond I am of these colors...I want my hair to look like this.







That is actually a wood carving by Jim Childress but it gives a nice example the color and plumage.



Skinning doves is, like I said, a humbling experience.  The dermis is so thin and delicate.  It doesn't seem to withstand any of the gentle pulling and manipulating that I can get away with most other birds.  I wound up with my fair share of holes.  Dove doilies, I guess.



After tanning and fluffing I wound up with a shell worthy of a C+,  a few grades up from the D- my first one amounted to.  It can be really discouraging to see how many feathers get lost while skinning or how many holes I'll have to sew up later, but I really do love the process so much that even the missteps are moments I wouldn't wish to be spared of.



 



Here's the breast meat, marinating in a mixture of simple syrup and lemon juice.  I let it sit for two days. It was a very petite cut of flesh, but well worth fussing over.



I brought it over to a friend's house where a fish skinning event was to take place, and we barbecued the dove.  As you can see it was a hit.  A palette-whetter, if you will.



Post School blues...or blacks.

I've been back from school almost a month now, and have been working on getting my studio in order and practicing  my skills on whatever specimen I can get my paws on.  The racoon hide I tanned is now taxied onto the proper form, climbing up a wall and almost finished.  Pictures to come.



I received a box of 8 starlings in the mail from a fellow taxidermist with a trigger-happy son.  Starlings can be a real pest to anyone occupying vast spreads of land so it's not generally frowned upon to assist in population control, so to speak.



He barely charged me anything for the birds (the shipping cost exceeded the bird quote) so I'm comfortable experimenting with them.  I decided to try dying the skin of one, to eliminate the white/brown spots and create a completely black little bird.



The process was kind of trial and error, but I think I've come up with a successful way to alter the color of the bird without compromising the preservation.  What excited me the most was not only the success in eliminating spots, but the way the iridescence was really brought out.











Oh!  And more good news.  Much to the ease of my conscious, I have discovered that starlings are not only edible but revered as quite delicious.  It's said that black bird pie was actually made with their smaller and spotted relatives.  So far I've ony found one recipe online but it looks good to me:

Starling stew with olives



A recipe from Calvin Schwabe's "Unmentionable Cuisine."



Animals: Love them or hate them, we also eat them. And nothing better illustrates just how many of them we eat (and how thoroughly) than Calvin Schwabe's giant compendium of recipes from every corner of the world, excerpts of which are appearing in Salon this week, Monday through Friday -- one recipe each day on the Life and People sites -- by kind permission of the University Press of Virginia. This one comes from Turkey where it's known as "Karatavuk yahnisi."



"Fry some chopped turnips and carrots. Add a little stock and a glass of red wine. Place some starlings or other small birds in the pan. Add a thin purée of boiled potatoes mashed with beaten eggs, dry mustard, and some stock and a little beer. Cover with stock and cook for about 30 minutes, adding some ripe olives near the end."



Perhaps this will be a dish for Easter.  Stay tuned!

"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.
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