Autumn 2011 – ongoing
A love of nature and intrigue for craft processes prompted me to pursue one-to-one training in taxidermy with a leading UK expert and practitioner.
Throughout much of my life, I have been intrigued by the practice and product of Taxidermy – affording one much pleasure in observing the miracle and majesty of nature up-close.
With supervision from the artist, I worked on preparing and cleaning a Jay, building a form and a mount, assembling and posing the piece. The training gave me insight into the careful processes that lead toward creating a ‘good piece’ – and the fine line between creating a piece that looks “life-like” and one that simply looks “stuffed”!
Thanks to excellent tutorage, I have a confident foundation in bird taxidermy which I continue to develop as part of my regular studio activity.
(Above) I recorded many personal notes during the taxidermy training.
The broader experience is one of heightened craft skill. I well imagine that the skills and approaches I am honing through Taxidermy (such as patience, observation, dexterous use of fine tools, working with new materials etc.) will compliment my work in other fields.
I would like to make a “life-like” kinetic taxidermy piece.
This is Arnie – an ‘ex-chicken’ of mine and a great character.
It was decided that when she went, Arnie would be preserved and she continues to be the source of amusement. This little project was what led me to investigate taxidermy training.
Arnie was preserved by ‘Wildart’ in the UK who later also provided the taxidermy tuition.