Immortalized

 

I’ve tweeted it, I’ve facebooked about it but just to be sure I’m spreading the word I’m blogging about it:

If you read this blog, I’m guessing you’re into taxidermy.  Therefore, it would behoove you to check out this television show on AMC slated to premier on February 14.  I am on it.  It was a unique and fabulous experience which I am very excited to see in its final form.  The show is called Immortalized and you can learn more on the AMC website  since I can’t figure out how to put the video up on my own blog. But here’s a picture:

Immortalized Cast Photos

 

So I hope you can watch it!  I know the other Immortalizers and they’re a talented, riotous group.  I’m stoked to see all eight episodes!  So let’s all make a date to watch the premier on Valentine’s day.  It will bring new meaning to that chocolate heart.

xoxo,

BB

 

Rabbit for Reggae

Remember my Twenty4Twenty project? I know it seems like I may have forgotten it but fret not, I’m just stretching it out.  Some of the people on my list are quite hard to reach; others I’ve just decided I’m not so wild about anymore.

The piece I’m writing about today falls in the fan art category but isn’t quite a Twenty4Twenty gift as I orchestrated a trade for this mount.

If you know me personally, you know that I’m a rabid consumer of podcasts.  Especially the ones falling into the comic variety.  While I get a tremendous amount of laughs from these podcasts, they are also quite thought-provoking and mentally stimulating.  Comedians are, in my opinion, the most observant, intelligent and unique people on earth.  Recently I added another podcast to the weekly roster and it quickly become my favorite. It’s called Twisting the Wind– check it out.  The host, Johnny Pemberton, incorporates music samples into the already captivating material and that’s what gave me the idea to reach out to him and propose a swap:

face right detail

Every song I’ve heard on this podcast was new to me.  And wonderful.  It took me back to my grade school days of mixtapes, where I discovered most of the music I still love today.  Perhaps I’m aurally lazy but I just prefer my favorite songs be spoon fed to me.  Record shops are among my least favorite places on earth to be, right up there with live music venues.  If someone else has really great taste, it only makes sense to me that I glom what I can off them.

SO.  I wrote Mr. Pemberton on a whim and proposed I send him a custom piece of taxidermy in exchange for a custom mix tape.  And he responded yes.

This was going great.  I was working on the rabbit I’d dispatched with Farmer Thomas, and trying out a new mounting technique (new to me, at least) in which I taxied the skin over the rabbit’s actual skull and not a form.  I also tried out a new type of ear-liner which produced mixed results.

straight on full

The mount itself is riddled with technical issues but it’s still pretty rad- he holds a little mirror in his rabbit hands to serve as a “last check” point: something to look at before seeing another person or people, and make sure there is no food in your teeth or gunk in your eyes.

mirror detail

He also has a small tiara type embellishment because he’s dripping with meaning, history and charm.

left  full

I’m quite pleased with his exposed teeth- the neat and perfect little rabbit chompers are what inspired me to incorporate the skull in the fist place.  It was a great experience to try something new and still be able to share it with someone while getting something in return, to boot!

right face detail

Ahoy!

It’s been embarrassingly long since I’ve posted, I feel a little ashamed about that but here is me dipping my toe back into the taxidermy blog waters with a quick little ditty about a pirate bunny for a client of mine who waited over a year for it!

I think the photos speak for themselves; my client had dropped off a rabbit for mounting some time ago but upon skinning the specimen I found  significant bug infestation and had to dispose of it.  I offered to replace the rabbit with one of my own and for no particular reason decided to make him a pirate.

Wooden peg-leg, check.

Eye patch, check.

Pipe, hoop earrings, anchor charm and shark bit ear, CHECK.

Happy client, CHECK.

 

I promise to have more posts up next week; soon enough I will have some very exciting projects to tell you about that will completely make up for my shameful blog negligence!

Taxidermically yours,

Beth Beverly

 

Charmed Life

Here’s a short sweet little post about a few talon charms I made the last week. All are chickens sourced from my favorite farm in Schoharie  New York.

This Foot is clutching a wooden Saint charm gifted to me by a friend whom I know through Bailey, one half of the Farmer’s Husband. (Side note- I was mentally composing a list in my head today of all the people I have to thank for my blazed taxidermy trail and it’s astounding how each one is connected how we are all connected but that’s a post for another day).  I’m not sure what saint is represented here but I think it looks so much like Dora the Explorer that I just named it after her:

Accentuated with soft ducking hide:

 

Another gift from this friend was a horse shoe charm bracelet.  Hence:

FYI: For anyone who doesn’t already know this, horseshoes should always be kept in the is direction so your luck won’t run out.

 

Remember Miss. Hannigan from Annie?  I imagine her wearing this:

Sorry that picture is so terrible; clearly I do not poses my husband’s camera skills.  Here’s a better one:

 

Something I’ve been wanting to make use of is this mini watering can:


It won’t pour water but you can stash your drugs diamonds in there!

As usual, if any of these strike your fancy don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

And that’s been post.

 

Keep your skull and jaws close to your skull and jaws.

This is a short and sweet little post featuring four new pairs of joined earrings (also known as “continuous earrings”, “earclaces” and “necklings”- I’ve been making these for 10+ years and have yet to find a way to properly market them for lack of a better name) which are being sold exclusively at Wilbur Vintage on Fabric Row in Philadelphia.  Available in person or on the shop’s Etsy page.

These earrings are surprisingly easy and fun to wear; they’re lighter than they look and give the wearer something to fiddle with, talk about or just enjoy the movement of.

I struggle to find a tag or reference name to go with pieces like this, as bone art is not actually taxidermy.  The term “osteopathicraft” was recently suggested to me but it’s a bit of a mouthful so I’m going to go with “Osteocraft” for now.  If you can com up with something better, please tell me your ideas in the comments!

First up: Rat Skull filigree earrings joined by black silk fringe:

The skull and fringe are both pleasantly lightweight and easy on the lobes.


Next: Pearlized Grey Fox jawbones earrings joined by a double strand of pearl beaded chain.  These are just a tad heavier than the rat skull earrings but completely wearable nonetheless.

I painted a pearlescent paint on the jaw and left a stripe untouched, just for fun:

Thirdly, we have a pair of pearlized grey fox jaw bone earrings with filigree detail  joined by white silk fringe:

Last but not least, Pearlized Grey Fox jaw bone earrings joined by a single strand of pearl beaded chain, with added chain and pearl detail:

Ding-a-ling-a-ling!

I am constantly producing these so if you want something you’re not seeing please contact me for a custom order.  Otherwise, get yourself to Wilbur Vintage ASAP and scoop up a pair!

pssssst: hi.

What’s that I hear?  Is it the pitter pater of little hooves in my studio?

Behold Lambie, the extremely young baby Katahdin lamb whom I had been referring to as a baby goat until last month.  Clearly I need to do some boning up on my animal husbandry.

Here is Lambie in tanned skin form back when he still was a goat to me:

I’m also not sure if Lambie is a he or a she.  I don’t think I properly sexed him when I skinned him (“what kind of taxidermist IS this chick?” I can almost hear you thinking…) but I like to think of him as a tender little boy who prefers the color pink.  This is why he chose to wear the vintage pink velvet flower cage veil to keep the shivers off his delicate tresses.

Lambie was part of a brother/sister combo, born together but one thriving more than the other, the latter being my guy here.  The famer-lass who tended to this flock opted to donate her specimen to Diamond Tooth and for that I am eternally grateful.

Since no lamb forms are readily available, I used a fawn form which I then altered drastically in size and head shape.  I used glass cat eyes which I turned sideways to mimic the sheep’s horizontal pupils.

Lambie has become something of a mascot around the studio; he’s even slated to be the subject of a painting next month.  So proud of my little guy!  Eventually he’ll need a forever home though; please contact me if you or the luckiest person you know might want to love this little darling forever and ever.

It’s Anne with an E and Dream Catcher with a bit of magic.

 

I’m not sure what possessed me the other day but whilst completely on autopilot I made this dream catcher:

 

It’s not unlike me to make dream-catchers, and I’m posting this on my site as well so potential clients have an idea about the scope of my skill set but this is so unlike the typical Diamond Tooth  style that I’m not afraid to say I was possessed….

by  Anne of Green Gables.

Does anyone else remember that series of books from childhood?  I read them all.  Anne was my hero.  I admired her cool differences that set her apart from the typical prairie crowd, and her boyish toughness and confidence.  I wanted to be like her so badly; I didn’t even see that I already had my own cool differences and was indeed, quite tough.  What I wound up projecting was an unsure and contrived version of a misfit when all I had to do was just be myself.

UGH adolescence.  If you know someone in the throes of this truly bizarre stage of life or are going through it yourself, I would love to hug you and tell you that most adults (and other kids for that matter) are very stupid, brainwashed and insecure so just listen to your heart because it will get better…in 15 years.  It’s a long time to wait but trust me.  You’ve got a long life to live.

 

So maybe I was channeling this longing I had to reconnect with this book series that held such prime real estate in my heart throughout my tweens and early teens and that’s how I can explain the pink floral print fabric making up the bulk of this piece.  The material itself is actually older than I know; it was passed onto me from the collection of my friend’s grandmother when she passed some years ago.  I took it, not ever really imagining myself making something with this…pink stuff…but feeling a soul tug just the same.  My grandmother was a skilled seamstress and I love using her old pins and threads and trying to pick up on her energy from these objects.

Dream-catchers are such great opportunities for me to incorporate pieces from my found-on-the-street collection, like the crystal above (from a real antique chandelier) and this key.  I like to imagine the history of these objects calling out to be combined with one another and I’m just blindly obeying their wishes.  When  a project comes completely out of autopilot like this one, it’s hard for me to believe otherwise.

This skull was gifted to me from a friend who picked it up on a hike.  Who knows how this doe lived and died?  Humbly and anonymously, like most prairie-folk I imagine (OK I know I’m getting really cheesy).

I also incorporated some scraps of squirrel fur from one of my first attempts at taxidermy.  I suppose subconsciously I was really trying to reconnect with my 12-year-old self…

It’s weird, I remember thinking when I was a kid that being an adult would suck so much because all the gown-ups I met told me to “enjoy your childhood!  Before you know it its gone!”

Despite all that heaping unsolicited advice,  I still couldn’t wait to be me, now.  I’m finally the person I wanted to be for so long and it’s like I knew this as a kid and felt nothing but angst for being stuck inside that kid body and mind.  Did any of you feel that way?

I have a bag of vertebrae bones which were also a gift from a friend.  These bones bear a particular significance to me since I had a piece of my back removed years ago to correct an issue with my spine.  It still blows my mind that us humans can be opened up like rag dolls and have bits added and subtracted but that’s a post for another time.  Needless to say though, my back is a very important possession of mine, possibly my favorite one.  Also my parents paid a shit ton of money for it. Thanks Mom and Dad!

 

Finally, no piece would be complete without a dose of chicken from my boys on the farm so here’s a little tail feather for ya:

So who is this dream-catcher for?  Do you know them?  It’s not for me, and I want it to find its rightful owner.  This thing has powers and it will protect the right soul from nightmares.  Please help me find them?

And just a FYI: I love making these.  Custom orders would be graciously accepted.

 

Sweet Dreams.