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:

Warthog Footstool

After a long day, what's better than pouring yourself a tall one easing back onto one of the many fur covered surfaces in the house, kicking off your shoes and resting your tired old dogs on a custom one of a kind taxidermy warthog footstool?

It was a long journey to get to that particular end of the day, however.  

A hunter contacted me after exhausting his contact list of taxidermists ("I've tried EVERYONE AND NOBODY WILL TAKE THIS COMMISSION!") to see if I had any interest attempting to transform this very petite warthog hide & skull into a custom footstool mount.  Usually being told that you're the last person on someones list doesn't inspire self confidence, but the thing about taxidermy is that it's a very niche craft with even more niche subdivisions.  Hunting trophies and wild game are some artists' specialty, and that's who one would reach out to in this case.  My area of expertise is more fantasy decor for home and self with the smattering of pet preservation.

Below is what I started with, a tanned hide with its respective skull.  Rehydrating was tricky; I wasn't familiar with methods used overseas, but followed instructions carefully so I could turn the head right side out without tearing or cracks.  Unfortunately the ears were all but blown out and would need plenty of attention later.  There were some odd cut marks also, and spots where it just seemed like...parts were missing.

Nonetheless, I went ahead and hired a couple of professional sculptors to help me with the form for the body. The used reference photos and hide measurements to construct a basic mannequin; here he is, emerging from his foam block:

Taking shape:

Since this mount was to serve as a functional piece of furniture, it needed to be sturdy,  The mannequin was cut open so steel reinforcement rods could be inserted as a sort of skeleton. A harder, more durable type of foam (think pool noodle) was also used in the top of Warty's back so that he could withstand years of foot plopping.

Lid on, legs back on. Isn't he cute?  Too bad he's so far from finished.

Now for taxying that dermis onto the form.  Sadly I didn't take any photos of the skull beforehand while it was all clayed up with the glass eyes set into it.  That was its own adventure.

There were many hours spent fitting, sanding, and refitting; this little dude had legs skinnier than any of us has imagined.   Below you can see the beginnings of legs.  Because of the steel "feet" within his own feet, I had to make a few executive decisions in terms of alterations which fell more on the side of functionality than anatomical correctness.

I just adore his long, thick eyelashes.  Mounting a hide directly onto the skull is always a challenge for me; it's different than a foam head where pins can go anywhere you please.

I sealed up the leg seams with epoxy clay, which I then textured to match the skin pattern and began coloring to blend the skin tone.

There were other spots where seams were necessary, so I had to blend those with epoxy clay as well.

To recreate the texture of the skin on the seams, I used a terrycloth towel, as well as a small piece of actual skin.  I save little scraps of everything I work on for this purpose.

Hide is on, still so far to go.

A scene from a busy work table.  That's a dog mount in its early stages in the foreground, while Warty sits in the background with his ears carded up to set them into a correct position.

I wanted to fill him out a bit since he wasn't particularly rich in the hair department-oh! I forgot to mention that he was covered in hundreds, maybe thousands of nits that just held onto those hairs for dear life:

As you can imagine, some hairs were lost in the delousing process.   I figured he could use a bit of help in the coat department as well, so I sourced some wild boar hairs (as well as saved every single original one that fell out while picking nits) to put back into his skin one by one by one....

All stitched, smoothed and haired up!  Now he's getting some steam and some color treatment, plus a sealant on his hide.

Two years later, and here we are.  Nice knowing you, Warty.  It'd been real.

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