Taxidermy: An Introduction via the Modern Artisans

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For months now, I have been promising the readers of Steampunk Chicago a post on taxidermy. Doing my own independent study on the subject, I found myself overwhelmed with history, techniques, artists, ethics and hundreds of amazing pieces of work.

During the early summer, I became the owner of my first piece: a simple yet stately pheasant who was dubbed “Lexington Featherbottom”.

It was an interesting car ride home.

As I go further and deeper into my research, I find myself more and more fascinated by viewpoints and results of each  individual taxidermist’s work. I am coming to the conclusion that just trying to do a single article would not do the field any justice, so instead I will do so as a continuing series.

To begin with simply, below are some sites of known artisans who work in the medium of taxidermy. Their work, while objectionable to some, is captivating enough to many, including this once vegan, now vegetarian, animal welfarist.

Artist Bonnie Wood who does some amazing work incorporating rodent skulls of all types into some gorgeous necklaces, fascinators, and headpieces.

Artist Lisa Black salvages broken pieces of taxidermy by means of mechanical modification.

One of my personal favorites is T’s website of Victorian & Edwardian taxidermy, which showcases her specialty: “grotesque beauties”. Check out her blog for an insightful and practical view on the ethics of her art. Fair Warning-navigating her site is a little more unusual than the typical website, but nothing that some scrolling around the page with your pointer will enable you to be able to find the links just fine.

If you find the above artists intriguing, you might want to go spend some time on Rogue Taxidermy. This site, based on a group out of Minnesota, is a showcase of taxidermists who don’t play by conventional standards. Trust me lovelies, it’s in good taste; well that is, if you (like me) find circus sideshows in good taste.

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Topics: Decor, Steampunk

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