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:



Mrs. Friendly

Oh, hello there:


 Meet Mrs. Friendly, the much loved pet chicken of a client who wished to have her immortalized.


 Apparently, Mrs. Friendly was an ornery, no nonsense hen with an intense glare.  She suffered no fools.


 She also had asymmetrical hips, with a pronounced hump above her right hip bone/back area.  I'm guessing this may have caused a limp which must have only added to her cranky old lady aura.

 I altered a manufactured bird form by adding foam to the back section and carving it to match the size and shape of the hump as seen on the carcass, and posed the body to recreate her gimpy stance as exactly as possible, using photographs from life as reference.


 Hump:



 Don't mess with this chick lady hen.







So long, Mrs. Friendly.  Enjoy the afterlife.



Speechless





 I mounted my dream creature recently, a peacock.  Here he is, just photos, because who needs words when your eyes are being massaged by this regal creature?


































Vetabrae Necklace

I've been in possession of a bag of fox vertebrae for some time now; about a year ago I articulated a few with the intention of making a cool neck piece.  I finally finished it today.

Once I'd decided the exact design, I needed to source the beads and hardware.  The beads are glass and I wore them all around my wrists for a week to infuse them with my own energy and also because glass beads around my wrists feel so good.


 This necklace is meant for a long dainty neck, as you can see in these photos its a wee snug on me.  Perhaps there is a young elfin lass who this piece is calling out to?





 The clasp is a no frills, magnetic slide:
 Magic.

C'est Tout!

Hawk Eye


In what has been a long an arduous process (not for me, really, all I had to do was sit back and wait) the folks at Bartram's Gardens acquired a Federal Salvage Permit so that I could become their on call taxidermist for such fantastic specimen as the Sharp Shinned Hawk I'm writing about today, a sweet little Vireo and above all, a Great Blue Heron.  The Heron was the impetus for obtaining my services and the permit, but these birds came with the territory, so to speak.
Because I'd never mounted a hawk or a heron, and this is for educational purposes, and I just plain adore Bartram's Gardens I am providing taxidermy services for free and just ask that my supplies are covered.
Even so, I don't feel any less flat about my lackluster job on this hawk.  I did the best I could but what I didn't realise going in was that while structurally these birds are very similar to the hundreds of feathered specimen I've skinned and mounted over my years as a taxidermist, their feathers have a texture and lay pattern unlike anything I'd ever encountered.  I ought to have done more research.



You can see that instead of a tight, compact aerodynamic shape, his feathers look a little ragged, like he just took a roll in the hay or something.  I rehydrated him, used pins to painstakingly place every feather that wouldn't lay flat, wrapped him in hosiery and heat dried him (which has worked wonders for me on other misfit birds) to no avail.  After 6 months it's time for me to accept that I can't win them all.  And it's not terrible.  Just not perfect. 
 

 I am quite pleased with the feet though.  What gorgeous talons he has!  I guess I can't take credit for that, but I can for the positioning.
 The camera in untrained hands yields odd photos; I like how the flash kind of implies motion though.


 I've started noticing these hawks around Philly since I began working with this one.  They're such majestic creatures.  I was waiting for a bus out near the airport one morning, super early, as the dawn was just throwing open her closet and letting the blue spill out onto the sky, and saw one Sharpie sitting on a telephone wire.  Suddenly another flew out of nowhere and perched next to the first one, on the line.  I imagined them exchanging pleasantries and discussing what they might catch to eat that day, how yesterday's hunt had been, where some baby squirrels might be at, etc...
 And I took comfort in this fantasy conversation between the two hawks, thinking well, if they live hand to mouth and are never quite sure where their next meal is coming from, but confident nonetheless in their ability to acquire it, what's so wrong with an artist like me who is perpetually in the throes of of financial insecurity? 
Did I just pull the curtain back too much?  This is quite a revealing post. Back to the bird.
 So yeah, you can see the flaws, but I think he still looks quite regal.  It certainly has been an honor working with him.  The Blue Heron is on deck now, and believe me when I say I'm doing my research and planning every step with extreme focus and care.


Chichi

Meet chichi, a pet preservation project I recently completed after about 7 painstaking months.  I believe she is a Pyrrhura Conure breed, but will gladly accept corrections.  Her human was quite distraught when she brought her to me, and spoke very little English to boot.  What I could tell is that this bird wasn't in great shape.  I know very little about the world of keeping birds as pets other than it's a high maintenance labor of love.  These little bundles of love can develop all sorts of ailments, and it seemed this one had plucked out just about every feather within beak's reach.  She was also in her early thirties so perhaps feathers fall out with age as well, I can't say.  I am not even a novice, let alone an expert.

bald tail area

What I am is a passionate people and animal lover with an unparalleled work ethic.  A shrewd business person would have turned this project away because the profit margin is basically nil after all the hours spent bringing the animal back to a presentable state, but once my heart takes over, my emptypockets are left to flap in the wind. 
I mounted the bird and put her aside for a few months while I worked on other pieces.  All the while, she playfully glared at me, bald and pathetic.  I scoured etsy, ebay and online taxidermy forums for feathers to no avail.  The large colorful primary wing feathers seem easy to come by but what I really needed were the tiny green neck and belly feathers, among others.
Then the universe does what it always does when I am patient with it, and while a client was dropping off her coyote recently she glanced over at Chichi and said, "oh, my parents have that same bird.  It's always shedding.  I'll see if they can hook you up".  A week later a ziplock baggie full of all the feathers I need arrives in the mail.  Perfection.

Here is her filled in belly and armpit, which were previously bald.



(before)
 



another bald tail shot:


Her one wing was very crudely clipped so I positioned her with that one tucked and the other outstretched, head cocked to the side in a playful way.

I realise that she isn't perfect, there is still some thinness of feathers on her head, but I poured all I had into this little girl who is so close in age to me, and this is what I got.  I know how if feels to be a little rough around the edges but loved regardless.


Now she just needs to go home! Take flight, sweet Chichi!

Windsor

Meet Windsor, a 120 pound Akita who was the apple of a couple (probably more but I only met the two) humans' eyes.  When his time came to pass into the next dimension, they wanted to do something with the absolutely stunning coat he left behind, and that's where I come in.

Thia is actually my second pet preservation dog-hide-turned-rug commission, but my first employing the services of an industrial tannery.  My workload has reached the point that I can no longer tan everything in-house, and hand staking a hide to reach the level of suppleness you see in these photos is beyond cost-ineffective and insanely time consuming. 
So I ceded a portion of the workload (a significant step for anyone who knows me and my history of control issues) to a professional tanner and I couldn't be happier with the results.  I also got some rabbit hides done that I'll post about later.  For now though, just look at this magnificent beauty:


 That's a size 12 Men's cowboy boot to scale:
 



 He drapes like a dream!

 I think this is a fantastic alternative to getting a full life size mount in terms of pet preservation, and am happy to offer it on the regular starting now.  I know my client is happy; she looked perfectly natural with him draped around her as we spoke outside on this freezing, bitter night.  Her darling Windsor keeping her warm even in his afterlife.

 
Bye!



 


Here is a pair of goat hoof candle holders I made about a year ago; they're one of the first pairs I constructed, and I consider them prototypes in a way.  You can see they have a slightly awkward standing angle and require museum wax to safely hold a candle and remain in grounded to the table.  I have since then developed new techniques in how I mount the hooves to rectify this.
They have recently come back to me after being part of a several months long exhibit at the Ward Museum in Maryland, and have also shown at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.  I just now got around to photographing them.  I don't have much else to say other then they are for sale, and I am have about four other pairs in the works.
Enjoy!











Saints and Frizzles


 Meet Saint B Jo Frizzle, a sweet little frizzle Serama chicken I mounted with no idea whatsoever of what his fate would be.  Then I sat down one afternoon, fell into the zone and it all came together. 














  I mounted him in a one legged balance pose atop the base of an antique candle holder, and instinctively went right to the "religious stuff" container in my accoutrement cubby to grab this Catholic relic I've been holding onto for thirty five years or so.
Its a piece of bone from Saint B. Jo. Neumann, a Philadelphia Bishop who founded the first Diocesan Catholic school and was cherished for his ability to take confession in just about any language (His masked and decayed corpse can be viewed currently in the St Peter Apostle Parish on 5th & Girard).  I have always thought this charm was kind of cool and yet it has sat in one drawer or another over the years, unused and underappreciated.


It was a gift to me when I was baptized and while I appreciate the sentiment of passing on a precious relic from one generation to another, I find more significance in incorporating pieces like this into works of art, marrying them with another object to give them new life and new meaning. 
And Lil Frizzle here was silently telling me that he wanted to hold onto this charm for eternity.  So I gave it to him, all the while thinking of a friend/client whom I knew was coming in later that week to find just the right gift for her beau. 

I don't know him very well but I fell into one of those great mental zones where the brain just cedes to the hands and heart and hours later, voila!  She stopped by, approved, and off he went just like that, to go live in his new home.
I've also been working on getting my combs to be a bit more translucent and lifelike.  Ta-Da!

Lamb Fetus Hat, proper.

 I finally got around to shooting my lamb fetus hat, now that it's back from Maryland. Unfortunately I had some issues with the flash and I'm not a very skilled photographer so the pictures are somewhat lackluster.  I'm still sewing the lining into it, which I'll post photos of later, with these, when I list the piece on etsy. For now, though, I wanted to share this very special little gem with you.




























Pheasant: It's what's on your wall and my plate!


Here's a fun trophy mount I just finished for a new father & son hunting duo; the son harvested this gorgeous pheasant and wanted to preserve it.


 It goes without saying that I of course dined on pheasant for the next few days.  Then, fueled properly on bird juice, I set to mounting this creature.  Please forgive these photos; I waited until the client was literally in the parking lot of my shop to get around to shooting and the process was somewhat rushed.  The flash actually kind of makes the first photo look a bit like an action shot, right?
Right?


 I went with an open winged descent pose to display the full color and texture range of his feathers:




 The shot destroyed the tip of his beak and left several of his lil pheasant toes dangling from their foot source, so some restoration was required.


Ta-Da!



 Another oddly lit shot:


 Rearish view:
Not much else to say; client was pleased and so am I. 

I am aiming to really step up my technical game this year, and achieve complete realisation of the designs my head spins of dream taxidermy mounts.  I treasure commissioned jobs like this pheasant, the squirrels I just wrote about and pet preservation because it allows me the work to pursue my more artistic and far-out endeavors.
 I have grand visions for 2014; here's to ambition!

-Insert Giddyup noise here-

Here's a Christmas commission I just finished right under the wire:

 Two squirrels, anthropomorphically posed, giving each other  double finger guns.  Is there a term for it?  If so I don't know it.  Anyway, here are two bad ass squirrels (both dudes) who now live on the mantel on some folks in Media who are quite dear to me.

 The positioning for these two was more difficult than I'd anticipated; the forms I sourced from McKenzie had to be altered significantly.  Here's one in progress:


And in case you were wondering, of course I ate the squirrels.  Here's what a cleaned out squirrel carcass looks like for those who don't already know.  This is eviscerated and ready to cook:


I've been working on achieving the most convincingly life like qualities in my mounts lately, and to position these guys in such an unnatural fashion was extremely difficult for me.  I kept looking at their hands, shaking my head and thinking that it just didn't look right. 


 But seeing as squirrels don't have opposing thumbs, I suppose a slight suspension of disbelief is required when it comes to anthropomorphic taxidermy.




 They were unveiled on Christmas day and the recipient is quite happy from what I hear.



I'm just kicking myself now, looking at these photos, because I ought to have had them winking! Dangit.  Hindsight.  Maybe next time.  Until then, Giddyup!



Tyrone

Meet Tyrone.
He is the very beloved member of a family in Ohio; his human contacted me over a year ago when she thought an other one of her dogs was on the verge of passing, however that pup recovered but then months later she reached out to me with the sad news that Tyrone had passed.



We made arrangements to have him shipped from his home to my studio, packed in a cooler with dry ice.  The little guy arrived safe and sound, and actually took several days to thaw out enough for me to begin any sort of work on him.


Tyrone was famous for his robust rear end.  It had a zip code of its own, I was informed.
And goodness, did it.  It's almost like someone fused two loaves of bread to this guy's backside.  Needless to say she wanted him in a pose that emphasized this physical attribute.
This was by far the most specialised form I've ever had to make; I made a mold of the actual head from his carcass, and made a cast of it, then went about adding copious amounts of bulk and adjustments to a prefab grey fox form I purchased online.





Tyrone had gotten some sort of surgery before he passed; the stitches were still so fresh when I got him that they didn't stay in the skin.  I did my best to recreate them on his chest as they were in life.  I think he may have died due to complications from this operation but I'm not sure.  I tend to let the humans give me this kind of information; most times the cause of death is simple old age.

That rump!



I don't do this for all my clients but I felt like Tyrone's human would appreciate a baculum charm made from his penis bone.  I threw it in as a thank you for her patience. 
 Thankfully she understood and appreciated the gesture.  And also didn't mind all the assorted animal hair in the jewelry box I sent it in!

So that's Tyrone.  He was a significant project for me and had a large presence in my studio.  It will feel a little empty without him for a while.


ORKA


 http://thefarmershusband.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/img_0815.jpg


This is Orka, the beloved sheep of my dear friends Bailey and Thomas who write on the blog The Farmer's Husband. 
She passed away during a complicated pregnancy; you can read all about it here.
If you are at all familiar with me or my work, you know I source almost all my specimen from this farm.  They take their work very seriously, just as I do, and do their best to be sure all their animals travel through life and death with the dignity and respect they deserve.

This past weekend my two favorite farmers in the whole world got married, and as a gift I mounted Orka for them.  Here's her horns on the sheep form I got from Mckenzie's:

Since she had to be put down via shotgun shot to the head, there were some realignment issues when it came to anchoring the horns to the form.  I did my best.  There were also some alterations I had to make since this is the form of a different breed of sheep.

 

That's what skin looks like when it's initially put over the form, in case you are not a taxidermist and were wondering.


And this is what it looks like after the skin is lined up, stapled, sewn, pinned, poked and coaxed into place.  Taxied, if you will, hence the term "taxidermy".


And now I'm feeling the rush of cold blood coursing through my head and down to my fingertips as I realise I have been spelling this creature's name wrong THE ENTIRE TIME. So that there above is her name, misspelled.    My husband Jim sanded and stained two pieces of reclaimed wood with a walnut ink he made himself from black walnuts.  He also did the hand painted lettering of her name.  I told him to spell it that way.
I am so mortified.


I included a plaid woven scarf since her head was cut off a bit close to the face and I wanted to have a long neck coming out from the plaque.  Also, it just looks really nice.
My apologies for the not so well lit and scant photos; we took them at an ungodly hour in the morning before hitting the road to get up to the farm for wedding prep.  This is why I should never rush.  It just doesn't suit me, my work or the choices I make.


But Orka's a good looking girl.  I'm happy with her, as were the grooms.  I'll get more photos the next time I visit, and maybe Jim can turn that C into a K.




Chair As Folk

SO I made my first taxidermy chair.  Behold:


 I, along with several other local designers, was asked to create a custom chair for an auction to kick off this year's Philadelphia Design Festival.  The Popup Place should be a fantastic soiree as its being held at Bahdeebahdu (a heavenly spot where excellent times are consistently had by all) and stocked with tasty treats and bevvies.  I think it will e just the evening to debut a certain feline stole I've been working on...


 If you're in or near Philly and would like to attend, get more info here.  I hope to see you there!



Oh right.  The chair.  Basically we all were provided with a plain old IKEA seat, and told to go wild.  I mounted some calf legs to the steel chair legs, and upholstered the seat with the calf's hide.  
 This was an 80 pound dairy calf that I skinned and tanned myself.  Now that I mention it, I got it from one of the lovely gents of Little Baby's Ice Cream- he fetched it from their local dairy farmer- who will be serving up treats at this Design event.  Connection, connections.
 I was feeling folk inspired to I incorporated some brightly colored woven tapestry with tassels onto the legs and back and voila.  Diamond Tooth's first foray into chair making.



Hoof It











A taxidermy calf hoof bows as deeply as possibly to present light to whomever wishes to receive it. A simple an elegant gesture, this piece will add allure to any table scape or bathtub meditation.
Solid and sturdy build that will last through many candles and memorable evenings.




Calf Hoof Candle Holders, Pair:







Contemplate the future while gazing into this glass orb poised atop a preserved calf hoof. Keep this piece in a sunlit room to see the light refract in the loveliest ways.
Stands on its own, this is a solid piece that will stand the test of suns, moons, spells and dreams.









Two elegant and eternally youthful legs dangle from a gold chain, eternally entwined in playful pose with one another.
Can be worm as a necklace or hung up as decor, dangled from a rearview mirror and anywhere you want to look at something sweet and tender and beautiful.








Sort out the fine print with this elegant magnifying glass and be sure to take in every detail of the contract before you. Or look for stray hairs and other clues to whatever modern day mystery confounds you.
A solid and sturdy piece that will stand the test of many a query, while enhancing your mystique cred at the same time.





Orca was a much beloved sheep living on the Bearded Lady Farm in upstate New York. Sadly, she perished while giving birth due to complications. One her miracle offspring lives on however, and Orca's spirit also lives on in the light cast from the glow of candle burning in this pair of holders fashioned from her back hooves.
These are delicate and while they stand on their own, it is recommended to secure them with a dab of museum wax on the bottom as they are sensitive to hips bumping into the table and strong vibrations from feet stomping on the floor.
Viva Orca!




Mouse & Rat Fetus Ornament:
I made a limited run of a dozen or so of these Christmas ornament snowglobes with tiny fetuses inside.  They're selling too fast to bother listing on Etsy so I'll just share them here.  If you'd like to place an order, there are a couple left so please email diamondtoothtaxidermist@gmail.com to claim one.


It's heart breaking to open up a specimen and find that she was carrying a little family inside of her, and I don't take those moments lightly.  I've held onto my petite "nursery" for a few years now, and I want the little guys to go out and experience the world.

I hope they can bring some cheer to a few warm and fuzzy hearts.





What to wear to Dressage? Or Traffic Court?

Diamond Tooth has you covered.



The Cher:
 Platforms aren't giving you enough height? Fret not, this piece will add a solid 6" to your statuesque figure while framing your face in luxurious iridescent turkey feathers. Made from the saddle part of a wild turkey, fanned out over hand-made buckram band frame, and embellished with vintage studded jewelry and chains.



Death on Two Legs:

For the woman (or enterprising gent) who wishes to never be forgotten. Dress to kill in this vintage buckram frame hat with a taxidermy wild turkey wing swooped around and hugging the head. No nonsense, just outrageous. The spotlight is on you and you alone. 



 The Lydia:
 Thin out the herd of simpletons on a daily basis with a piece like this- only the bravest of hearts will dare approach. Ideal for the young woman who already knows not to suffer any fools.
A taxidermy rooster head swirls into a nestled coil with a horsehair cushion on its underside. He holds a giant pearl in his beak for eternity. The entire piece is anchored to a steel headband, rendering it quite sensible for the young lady on the go, be it cycling, dancing, or levitating with the ghosts of deceased football players.








The Jane:
 The Jane is for a quiet, practical sort of gal who can hop off her cruiser bicycle to deliver a breached calf or present a thesis on the benefits of counter-transference and disclosure in the therapy hour with the same relative amount of ease. She's not a show off, look at me type (not that there is a SINGLE thing wrong with that), she's more of the silent but deadly type. The kind you definitely want on your side.
A taxidermy chicken wing wraps the head of an antique felt cap, embellished with vintage lace detail.






 The Margaret:
 The Margaret is for the reserved but stylish woman; ideal for strolling through an apple orchard to pick apples or simply survey her domain.
The base of this piece is an altered antique velvet cap; a chicken tail & hide pieces frame the front. Embellished with vintage buttons, the amount of provenance in this piece is palpable.




 A Simple and easy to wear piece with maximum impact. A disc of premium, lush iridescent turkey feathers stands straight up, anchored by a steel head band. Sits slightly cocked to one side for asymmetrical hair styling options. Ideal for adding height without making too much of a splash.


Night on The Concorde:
Channel your inner classy and carefree airline attendant with this jaunty and easily beautiful piece. Take your Coffee, Tea or Me with a dash of modern class in a hat that can compliment long flowing locks, or a formal work-appropriate chignon.
Taxidermy rooster wing mounted onto a felt hat base with a silk fringe tassel and fabric bow detail.












Chicken Wing Mohawk:
Add instant height and intrigue to any ensemble and hair style. Taxidermy chicken wings fold into each-other on a hand made buckram frame which is anchored to a steel headband, making an easy to wear (except on windy days!) piece for any gal (or guy) who intends to stop traffic or command a room.



Fox Tail Earcuff and Rabbit Tail Earcuff
The tip of a fox tail dangles from a chain and attaches to the wearer via a sterling silver ear cuff. Instantly dress up any look for the day with this piece, while simultaneously giving yourself something soft to handle during dull moments.
A no brainer




 





Raccoon Baculum Charm Necklace:

 Dare to wear a Raccoon Baculum (penis bone, Texas Toothpick, etc) and see what good juju comes your way. Women have been known to don one while trying to conceive. Gamblers wrap a baculum in a $10 bill, tuck it in their pocket and head to the track to clean up. They are said to generally attract positive energy and spirits, aside from that they are an elegant and beautiful bone to behold. This one is embellished with a genuine Swarovski Amethyst and several snug brass jump rings. Necklace included.





Halo Rose and Araucana Headpiece:





Fabric roses and Araucana chicken hide nestle together onto an antique buckram halo frame to form this playful and romantic piece. A bit Spring-like in appearance perhaps, but the right lady can work this topper any time of year. It's easy to wear and frames the face is a most flattering way.










The Pearl 2.0:




A second incarnation of the original Pearl hat, this one is a bit more compact and snug against the head, ideal for riding horses or traversing the avenue with your best "don't F with me" face.
Very no nonsense.
Taxidermy rooster wing hugs the curve of the cap and a vintage gem holds up a portion of the brim creating a face flattering swoop. Hat base is vintage felt, Stetson quality.






Possum Tail Necklace:





A taxidermy Possum tail curled into an elegant swoop, and capped off with a steel end hangs from a chain at just the right length to flatter any decolletage. Often reviled as undesirable, creepy rodents, Opossum actually have some their own sort of beauty as demonstrated in this piece.





Rooster & Deer Tail Beret:

Meeting a stranger in a cafe for a clandestine exchange? Here's your hat. Elegant and practical, with an amount of flair that will get you noticed by the right people and deter the rest.
Taxidermy rooster hide woven with dyed deer tail swoop around a vintage brown felt beret, terminating in an antique charm.






Rooster Hide Visor Cap:
Make sexy eyes across the arena at that handsome Terrier breeder during the next American Kennel Club event. Dogs and humans alike will be drawn to you in this vintage altered velvet cap with black visor and rooster hide.


The Harvest Queen:
This piece made its way up to Sharon Springs this year and was an honorary guest at the Harvest Festival kicking off an entire 3 days of celebrating all things seasonal, local and organic. Seeing as it's crafted from a taxidermied chicken hide sourced from a farm just down the road in Cobelskill, a repurposed vintage hat base and a handed down magic amber button embellishment sewn on with antique suture thread, The Harvest Queen was a perfect fit. She is full of provenance and positive energy, an asset to any wearer.






The White Witch:
Goes perfect with a glass of champagne and an icy attitude. Altered antique faux fur hat sprouts taxidermy chicken hide and tail from the front top, and is embellished with vintage jewelry. A snug fit, perfect for the Anna Wintour in your life.







Taxidermy Chicken Wing Epaulets:
 I haven't listed these on etsy yet because I'd like to get more shots of them, from the underside explaining method of attachment.  Basically they pin onto the shoulders of whatever the wearer' has on, like a brooch.   If you're in love and don't want to wait, just email me directly at diamondtoothtaxidermist@gmail.com and we'll talk.


Thanks a bajillion to me talented and patient photographer James Coughlin, and the lovely Bell sisters.  Pearl is more than a great model; check out her plethora of other talents here.






Who Needs Cake for their Birthday?

How about the gift of taxidermy lessons? 
Recently a lovely and talented photographer in my building approached me about a private taxidermy lesson for her beau as a birthday gift, and I jumped at the chance. 
I am still finding my footing, so to speak, in the teaching arena-I feel that my skill set needs to be undeniably solid in order for me to present them correctly, and pass on to an apt pupil.  What I'm learning in the process is that I very much enjoy private lessons in which I can tailor the session to meet the student's unique needs.

Take a business card!

During the lesson, Inna Spivakova from Peach Plum Pear Photo took photos.  I have her permission to use them here-these are all her shots.  When she sent me the files I was shocked- she is an absolute photo ninja; I didn't notice her in the room buzzing around taking all these shots the entire time!  How did she get behind me and under my desk without me even seeing her!?  That is talent, and just general good character.  No wonder she is such a fantastic wedding photographer.

Before I commence skinning any specimen, I burn sage and say a small prayer of thanks to its spirit.  This rule holds fast for any animal worked on in my studio so Dan, below, was not exempt.  He burned sage and said something in his head, which  works just as well.  Hopefully it wasn't anything like "this bitch is crazy".




And the skinning begins!

 Dan is really good with his hands- he'd actually had some experience skinning critters before.  A bit rough for the delicate rabbit hide, however, but by the end he had a pretty good handle on it.



 He even showed me a new way to split the ears!  That's his finger in there, in the foreground.  In the background you can see me using my ancient looking spring loaded steel Ear Splitters.  I prefer metal tools to my hands every now and again.  This is something I love about this craft though- there are always other ways to do things.  There's no one right method. 



 Harriet the rug lamp is giving Inna face and if you look carefully behind her you can see the beginnings of a special piece that will be auctioned off for an event in October...


 Since these rabbits were from the butcher, it was our intention to eat them.  This is why instead of Borax we used Baking Powder.  It helps with gripping the skin (not as much as Borax, obviously) but won't poison you (although Borax in tiny quantities is safe to ingest according to some).


 The natural lighting in my studio is second to none.



 Here I'm showing Dan how to turn the paws completely inside out in order to remove all finger bones and tissue.  This is where it's to one's benefit to have a gentle touch. 




 It's interesting to me to see how I look when I'm concentrating on someone else's work and refraining from grabbing the piece out of their hands to just do it myself.  This is something I find most challenging in teaching; I have a hard time relinquishing any control over anything ever.



Harriett's light illuminates Elke2.0 who reigns supreme:

 The lesson went long, but a great and educational time was had by all.  It was also a treat to get to know these two.  They're solid folks.  Here are the ingredients Inna used for their rabbit marinade:


 And here's the rabbit:


 Finit!  Brava!


If you think you'd ever like to take a private or small group lesson from me, please don't hesitate to contact me at diamondtoothtaxidermist@gmail.com.  We can customize a lesson just for you!

Thanks Inna and Dan!

A Quick One While You Brunch

Enjoy one of my favorite Who songs while skimming through this quickie blog post one what turned out to not be such a quickie job:


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. eating
3D printing
a very special
Abbas Akhavan
accessories
airbrush
airplanes
alice in wonderland
aliens
almost home
amc
america
andria morales
angel of death
animals
anne of green gables
annie
antique
antler
antlers
apacolypse
art
art show
art star
articulation
artist
atlanta falcons
auction
AUTASTIC
autistic
awesome
awkward
axe muderer?
babies
baby
baculum
bam
banstable ball
barter
bat
bath
bear
bear skin rug
bearskin rug
beautiful
beauty
bell house
beth beverly
bette davis
bill bill
birch
bird
birds
birthday
birthday gift
black
black bird
black birds
black cock
blam
bloof
blue
blue foam
blue gill
body
bombs
bone
boner
bones
booth
boots
booze
borders
boring
borrowed
boxes
brain
brandywine
bridal
bridal hair piece
bride
brooch
buck
buck brannaman
bufflehaed
bufflehead
burger
busy
buying shit sucks
bye bye
calling
camera
canada
candle
candy
cape
career
caribou
cat
cat food
cats
celt
chain
chains
champagne
charity
charm
cheese
cherie lily
chicken
chickens
chihuahua
childhood
christmas
classic cars
classy
claw
claws
clay is hard
clean
cleanliness is godliness
client
coat
cock
cocktails
coffee
cold
collaboration
collar
comb
combs
comedy
commercial mount
commision
compassion
competition
connection
contest
contest judge me
coodoo
cooking
cool
country
country music
cowboy
coyote
craft
craft show
crazy
creative kid
crooch
crossbow
cruelty
cruise
crystal
crystals
cuba
cuck
custom
cute
dandy
dark
darling
darlings
death
decoration
deep
deep thought
deer
deer hoof
devil
devon
diamond tooth
diamonds
different minds
difficult
dip
dirty bird
dog
dong
donuts
dora
doug bucci
dove
down south
drake
dram catcher
dream
drinking
drinking amp; hatting
duck
ducks
duncan trussell
dying
early
earrings
eating meat
eggs
elvis
emotional
emotions
end of the world
energy
epoxy
equestrian
ethics
ew
explore
Extra Extra
eyepatch
factory farming
fan
fancy
fantasy
farm
fascinator
fascinators
fashion
fashion night out
fashion turd
fast cars
fat
FDA
feathers
feelings
felt
fetus
filegree
fire
fish
fix
flair
flying
food
foot
foster the people
fox
Friday Night Lights
fringe
fun
fun fashion
fundraiser
funeral
funt
fur
garland
gay pass
gellery
gems
gender roles
georgia pellegrini
gift
glamour puss
glass
glass bead
goat
gold
Good bye
good eats
good life
goose
gosling
goth
gothic
grease
green
grey
grief
gross
grouse
guns
guts
gypsy
hair
hair fashion
hair piece
hair pieces
hairstick
hands
happy
hard knock life
hat
hate mail
hats
head
head piece
help
hen
hen egg
hero
hide
hike
holes
holiday
hollywood
home
homewares
homey
honey west
hoop
horns
horse
horse poop
horses
horseshoe
huate couture
huh
hunt
hunter
hunting
i get so emotional baby
i like to win
i love you
I'm bored
i'm goign cross eyed with this shit
i'm rich
ID cuff
immortalized
infestation
international
islands
jackalope
jacket
jade
jaw
jesus
jewelry
job
judge me
judgement
julep ball
junction
kat von d
kentucky derby
kentucky oaks
kids
kiki hughes
kind
kitchen
kombucha
LA
la luz de jesus gallery
lace
ladies
ladies hats
ladies who lunch
lamb
lapel pin
lapin
last day
last ride
learning curve
lessons
life
light
little house
locket
lonely
look at me
losers
love
luck
M.A.R.T.
magic
mail
make it yourself
make me a star
mallard
maria eife
marriage
maya escobar
meal
meat
memorial day
men
merganser
messy
MIA
mice
michael jackson
milinery
millenary
millinery
millneary
mind fuck
mink
minks
mojo
molting
moose
morals
mountain folk
mourning dove
mouse
movie
movies
mrs. hannigan
music
mutant
my friends are great
my husband is awesome
my perogative
natasha leggero
native american
naughty
neo-hippie
new
new age
new pieces
new york
nice life
nourish
novelty taxidermy
nursery
nuts
oil
old
oops
open mount
open mouth
organic
organise
osteo
oysters
paint
party girls
peacock
pearl
pearls
pegleg
pelt
penis
perch
permits
personal
pet
pet taxidermy
pets
peurto rican funerals
pheasant
philadelphia style
philly
philly chit chat
photo shoot
photography
pigeon
pimped out
pin
pink
pipe
pirate
plastic
please look at me
poachers
pocono pudge
polish hen
politics
polo
polo. hats
ponies
possum
prairie
Press
pretty
pretty fur
project
psycho
quail
rabbit
raccoon
raccoon. fox
rachel zoe
racoon
Radnor hunt
raibow connection
rare
razzle dazzle
real food
rebirth
recipe
red
red tape
refurbish
reggae
rehab
repair
restoration
road trip
robbed
rogue
rooster
rug
rules
rut
sad
sadistic
saints
schlong
school
school children
sculpt
sculpture
sewing
sex
sexy
shell
shetland
shiny
shooting
shot
show
sick
sick cat
side saddle
silly
silver
skeksies
skin
skinning
skull
sledding
smelly
smile
smoke
snacks
snow
socialites
space time love
spandex
spanish
spanish moss
sparkle
sparkly
SPCA
special
spells
spodee
squirrel
squirrel fish
star
starling
starlings
steeple chase
stick
stickpin
stink
stinky
stressful
strippers
studio
susan scovill
swarovski
swarovski crystals
sweet
tacidermy
tags
talon
talons
tan
tanning
tasty
taxidermy
tea
teen witch
teeth
television
temple grandin
thank you
thankful
the good life
thinking
tongue
trade
tradition mount
traditional
travel
trophy mount
trout
trust
twenty4twenty
unicorn
universe
update
USA
USDA
valentines day
vegetarian
veiwing
venison
vertabrae
vest
vibes
victorian
video
vintage
visor
viva la revolucian
voodoo
wake
warm
washed up hags with frizzy hair and intamacy issues
wasn't me
watering can
wearable
wedding
werk
what am I doing
what the hell happened
white
white rabbit
white tail
whole foods
wildlife
wing
wings
winner
winning
wish it were 4 minutes in real life
witch
women are the shit
work
wow
yay
yuck
yum
yum beer
yummy