Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Warning! Taxidermy ahead

Disclaimer: Mice sourced were ethnically bred, raised & killed for snake/reptile food and were coming to the end of their frozen shelf life. This post contains dead mice. Not for the squeamish.

I follow a blog called Morbid Anatomy... mostly via twitter. I was very excited to find out that they decided to visit the UK for a month and host a series of events/lectures at The Last Tuesday Society. One of the things on offer was Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy. 4 hour class, not too expensive and rather unique... so why not?

First off, I highly recommend a visit to The Last Tuesday Society's shop. It is amazing. It's like wunderkammer heaven. So much weird and dark things. Actually, it is literally dark in the basement but that just adds to it... there's a few very small but brightly lit cabinets there that help to keep your eyes from ever properly adjusting to the light levels so there's always something luring in the shadows.

So... the tables were laid out like a macabre dinner party for cats. Dark paper table cloth, paper doilies, shiny little plates, cups of borax substitute and disposable scalpels.
mouse dinner?


There's no gory pictures because my hands were gloved and I was a bit busy! It's not really any different to taking the skin off a chicken. Here's what my mouse looked like before...
Mouse before being skinned

Then after
Mouse drying in salt
Like a little mouse slipper.

The tricky bit came after the skinning. It's very fiddly work wiring up the arms and trying to keep the tail/spine wire into the back of the head.

I actually struggled quite a bit with the body shaping. Using air drying clay used to bulk out the body made it a bit awkward. I spent so much time on everything else, I almost missed out the anthropomorphic bit (except for the fact the mouse is in a standing pose)... then I happened to spot some interesting lacy trim and knew it'd have to be a skirt for the mouse.
Mousey in Box

Thursday, I'm going to be trying to make another stuffed mouse... with quite an audience it sounds like! I'm a bit nervous, I'm still a newbie... but I guess that'll make me more interesting for everyone.

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