I wasn’t gone forever, I was busy in my workshop, ie, the basement, taxi-ing away. I learned some new techniques, and here’s what I been working on.
Fish taxidermy was something new to me. There’s no fur to hide any major errors, and I wasn’t sure what the skin would do exactly once it dried. After consulting my odd “Fish Taxidermy Step-by-Step” brochure from the 80s, I gave it a whirl on a perch.
Not bad for my first attempt, but I thought that he needed…something. So I fashioned him a top hat and gave him a dignified name. Say hello to the dapper Lord Gillingsworth.
So now that I’d had a little practice with fish taxidermy, I was ready to move on to the next obvious step- mermaids!
That third pretty mermaid there was constructed somewhat by accident- that is, it was a salvage project for a rat whose butt had some baldness issues. It was either sew on a fish tail or make him skin grafts, so I did the best I could. I’m not sure the hind legs qualify him as a mermaid anymore, but he’s still pretty enough to lure some Greek sailors to a rocky shore, I’m sure.
Another aspect I’m working on is costumes. I’m not that great at making little clothes for rats, and finding rat-sized clothes at the thrift store is just luck. I got lucky with a music box doll one day though, and made the most of it- both with the doll’s outfit and the music. This was my first taxidermy in which a video was necessary to show it off in full:
And finally this one I’m pretty proud of. I haven’t named him yet, but obviously it needs to be something “western.” I’m proud because I made his outfit, simple as it was. I also ended up sculpting a little tiny cowboy hat, since that item is harder to find than you think. They don’t usually come in mouse sizes.
I think this is the best facial expression I have ever managed on a taxidermy piece before. And yet even with his little hat, his trusty steed, and his lasso, he still needed one final touch. What was old cowhand going after with that lasso, after all?
It’s a female stag beetle, one I just happened to have sitting around in my collection.