Male Sparrowhawk Taxidermy – Work In Progress & Behind The Scenes

WARNING: This post contains graphic images of the taxidermy process. If you are sensitive to this kind of material, please don’t scroll down!

I recently got the amazing opportunity to work with a very special specimen – a male sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). Unfortunately this one won’t be for sale as he is a commission from a customer that picked him up after he flew in to a greenhouse mid-chase, trying to hunt down his prey.

In most species of birds, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the gender of birds just by looking at their exterior, but with sparrowhawks it’s much easer to tell. This is because the males are considerably smaller than the female and they also have this gorgeous blue colour to their plumage, where the females are more brown in colour.

As this is a special bird, I thought it would be interesting to show you all some snippets of the taxidermy process! (As mentioned before, if you’re squeamish, this is the time to avert your eyes!)

Whilst skinning this bird, I came across something I hadn’t seen up close before, which absolutely fascinated me. I noticed his crop (A crop is a thin-walled expanded portion of the alimentary tract used for the storage of food prior to digestion) was bulging quite a lot. The curiosity got the better of me and I decided to open it up. I found a whole other bird in there! It looked a little like something from ‘Alien’. Unfortunately this bird was a bit to mangled to identify, but my guess is that it was a blue-tit, dunnock or something similar. At least we know he had good meal before he departed!

The eyes also captivated me. I use an empty surgical syringe to inject air in to the eyes to re-inflate them so I can write down measurements for correct eye placement. Look how fiery they are and think how terrifying they must look to small birds before they get eaten, eeeeeek!

After putting him back together, I processed a little dunnock to put under his very sharp talons – I like to think I gave him a second chance. This is a replication of a scene that would have been seen had he been successful in catching his prey before he tragically crashed and departed us.

All that’s left to do now is to paint around his eyes, beak and legs and it should really finish this project off nicely.

I’ll take some better photos once he’s all finished up.

Thank you for looking! If you have any questions at all about the taxidermy process, feel free to get in touch or send me a tweet over at @TaxidermyCo I will be happy to answer them 🙂

Taxidermy Co. UK – RELAUNCH

FINALLY! The re-brand and relaunch is here! It’s been a long time in the making, but I’ve done it, it’s here and I am proud of it.

I single handedly created the logo, branding, photography, website and most importantly the products. All of the products featured on this site are hand-crafted and designed by myself with love, including the original art, textiles and jewellery too! 

If you are wondering who ‘me’ is, you can check out the link about me, the maker, and read my story right here.

I have even more exciting projects in the pipeline, including some faux taxidermy pieces to raise awareness and funds for endangered species. I’ll be donating a percentage of sales from this range to various wildlife charities.

But for now, I really hope you enjoy the new site and what it has to offer!

You can check out all of the works in progress on the Taxidermy Co. Facebook and Instagram page – give us a follow if you want! @TaxidermyCo

Thanks for your support!

– Krysten

Why can’t I buy stuff?!

Don’t panic!

I’ve decided to postpone the official launch of Taxidermy Co. UK until the new year. Life has thrown a lot of hurdles at me just recently, but things are starting to resolve themselves, finally!

The new taxidermy workshop is nearly complete, website is all set up, new items are being made as we speak…it will definitely be worth the wait, I promise!

In the mean time, you can check out the progress and sneak peeks at the new items over on the Facebook page, or Instagram!

– Krysten

Sleeping Mice Commission

Custom Taxidermy Commission


Here’s a little something I worked on recently!

I got a commission from someone wanting some custom sleeping mice arranged in a circle for a special, unique birthday gift for someone.
It was a challenge posing them in to an almost perfect circle, but I liked the final outcome and the little glass dome finishes it of nicely.

If you want to commission me to create a custom piece of taxidermy, don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

I’d love to  hear your ideas 🙂

 

Contact

‘The Highbury Squirrel’

I recently received an exciting commission by GBH London who were working on behalf of a client to make a bespoke friendly, chunky taxidermy squirrel for an instillation.
They wanted to recreate the moment a mischievous squirrel ran on to the pitch during a football match at Arsenal Football Club.

This little guy is now running along a beam, on display at the Puma Box at the Arsenal Football Club, which is pretty darn cool!

I tried to reflect his cheeky character, GBH kindly sent me a quick snap of him in action:IMG_2465

Would you believe it, he even has his own twitter account?!

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 22.19.28
If you’re looking to own your own bespoke piece of taxidermy, do get in touch today so we can discuss your project!

 

Taxidermy Hedgehog

Taxidermy Hedgehog (Pet)


 

Towards the end of last year, my best friend’s pet African Pygmy Hedgehog unfortunately passed away. She asked me to reincarnate her deceased pet hedgehog ‘Nerisa Prickles’ in taxidermy form, so she could keep her forever! It was a bit nerve-wracking as this would be my first ‘pet’ commission, plus I’ve never worked on a hedgehog before and I had no idea what they’d be like to skin and process. Turns out, it was relatively easy, apart from the prickly spines stabbing you in the palm every second! The only thing I noticed was the high fat content of the hedgehog, it was much more so than the other animals I have processed due to them being hibernating animals, they rely on their high fat content to get them through the winter! So lots of thorough cleaning involved.
After she dried out, I finished the little hedgehog by airbrushing a little bit of colour on her face and feet and added some gloss varnish to the nose for that cute ‘wet nose’ look. Here is the end result!

‘Twisted Tradition’ Exhibition

Here is the recently released press image for this years ‘Twisted Tradition’ exhibition, courtesy of Mint, which is also part of the London Design Festival 2015. It runs from the 19th-30th of September and is hosted at Mint Shop (check the poster for details). Check out Chogan the 3 eyed taxidermy crow at the top!!!

Perished Pets Taxidermy will be making an appearance at this exhibition, featuring Loki the 3 eyed crow, Niven’s Mc. Twisp the Alice in Wonderland inspired Rabbit and Jodi, the giant jackalope!

 

The selection for this year’s LDF has taken Mint on a cultural journey to the most poetic corners of craft-orientated design. A selection of work, inspired by organic shapes, natural materials and traditional craftsmanship, reveals how contemporary designers interpret our world.

More information about this event can be found here.

 

 

Financial Times

Walking around the show with Deyan Sudjic reminded me how hard it is to stand out now. It’s not enough to be simply proficient any more — there is just too much design out there.

 

Happy to say that Perished Pets got a feature in this weekends Financial Times newspaper following our exhibit at New Designers One Year On 2015. It’s a great honour to be featured and to be considered an “emerging young design stars to look out for”. As the article explains, there is so much amazing talent out there from amazing designers & makers around the world, it’s difficult to stand out, but I like to think that Perished Pets offers something a little different! You can read the full article online here.Financial-Times

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