I skinned, stuffed and mounted this:
Here's an unusual one....
Visitors to my blog and website may have noticed that I do love to draw cute little animals although my work can be quite macabre and unsavoury. Well yesterday I took it to another level by attending a taxidermy taster class. It was held in an amazing venue: The Last Tuesday Society in East London. Seriously you need to see their shop/museum/experience. If you like stuffed animals, Victorian anatomy models, skeletons or just dead things in jars then this is the place for you.
The course was run by the completely lovely Sue Jeivin who was totally covered in amazing tattoos which isn't surprising as she's a fantastic tattoo artist as well as a taxidermist. I implore you, if you're going to get inked make sure it's one like she'd do or anyone else who works with her at the East River Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn would create. The style they've got going there is something an American whaler back in the days of old would have, they're gorgeous, have a peek now.
Here's a close up of my taxidermical triumph. I think it turned out alright. Let me run through how the day went.
Like a bizarre twist on Harry Potter's sorting hat she picked out a suitable mouse for each of us, making sure we all had one that reminded her a bit of how we looked. The dead rodent was chilled, not relaxed just slightly defrosted and the first task was to warm them up in our hands. Sue went to great pains to make sure the mice were ethically sourced and had good lives before they were humanely killed for pet food. It took her hours to find these ones and took her right out of London so you know she really cares for their mousey well being.
I was contemplating showing pics of the skinning and de-braining processes - but they weren't nice. The worse part for me was removing the eyes, but it was all pretty easy and clean. If you've ever prepared meat for cooking, this will be a breeze. Plus, the upside is that, come the apocalypse I'll be able to skin a mouse so I'll be ok for meat and clothes.
Once that was all done the stuffing, stitching and mounting was all plain sailing. Sue had brought props so we could put our tiny corpses into little Walter Potter style tableaux (don't let me whinge on about that collection being split up and sold after the V&A turned it down again) that she'd brought with her from American thrift stores. Everyone there created something really good and there was a great cross section of amateur taxidermists getting involved too. It was a really fun day and I urge you all to go and get stuffed.
Here's an example of the kind of thing you can see at The Last Tuesday Society too. Go and have a look there as soon as you can.