New Work

Taxidermy Barn Owl
Taxidermists Work Bench

this week in the workshop

The latest specimen 

As mentioned in my previous Taxidermy blog post, I have been working really hard catching up with existing commissions lately and this week I have begun work with this beautiful Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

I find them quite challenging birds to work with due to their delicacy, thin skin that dries quickly and their tendency for their bellies to turn green really quickly! But so far, I’m very happy with the progress I have made on this beauty.

Each Barn Owl I work with has such an individually characterful face which I always try really hard to recreate, constantly looking at reference photos to get that ‘heart’ shape that they are so well associated with.

This poor owl was found by the side of the road after getting hit by a car, but sustained minimal damage which makes me reflect just how fragile life can be.

Follow me on instagram for the latest updates! @Taxidermyco

I’m taking a break.

As from 2021 I have taken the difficult, but most important decision to stop taking on taxidermy commissions for the foreseeable future. This is to help me re-gain focus and manifest the freedom to create the art that I would like to make, that comes straight from my heart.


As a ferociously determined, one-woman band who can’t say ‘no’ to any opportunity given to me, I’ve recently come to the conclusion this is both my biggest strength and my weakness.

This has lead me to accumulate a plethora of taxidermy commissions to keep me occupied for a very long time which is an incredibly fortunate position to be in and I cannot express my gratitude enough for all of the interest and support I have received from clients, friends and family that have landed me to this point in my taxidermy career.

Normally, this would not be a problem to the majority of entrepreneurs, after all, having an endless supply of work is the dream! However, this is the part where my ongoing chronic health issues put a spanner in the works. Although running my own business with this in mind makes me feel incredibly empowered and proud of what I have achieved, on the contrary it can really push me back sometimes.

Taxidermy Red Crested Turaco

It only takes one relapse for me to fall behind and sadly, this has been the case, especially the past year. Each time it happens I find it a little harder to hit targets and get back on track with my commissions and as a result, I am feeling pressure to achieve right now and my health is consequently suffering. I really need to get out of this cycle.

When I first started out my taxidermy endeavours, I did it for me with absolutely no intention to make a career out of it. I discovered a new world that resonated with every single part of who I am. It fulfils my morbid curiosity, my fascination with anatomy and how things work biologically, the huge desire to immerse myself with everything birds and wildlife and I had no idea how linked the art is with wildlife conservation and how educational it can be, which is something I am incredibly passionate about. I absolutely fell in love with the art instantly and knew it was something I had to pursue and I desperately would like that feeling back again!

As a highly creative individual, I realise the exciting potential and ideas that lie within me that are crying out of every cell in my body to pour out in to my work. I’ve finally envisioned and developed a concept that I strongly feel will propel me in my art career that I’ve fought so hard to maintain throughout my life. I can’t say much about it right now, but this new venture involves consolidating all of my creative skills I have developed over the years, from graphic design to oil painting…and of course taxidermy!

“I want to reimagine the natural kingdom and the flora and fauna within it in order to portray beauty back in to a world which is continually shrouded in gloom. We are so exposed and indoctrinated by media to buy seemingly disposable belongings out of convenience. I want to make beautiful art that can stand the test of time”

Although I have great satisfaction in creating taxidermy via commission basis, at the risk if sounding unthankful (which I can assure you is not the case) I just feel like I’ve been severely creatively restricted in this process. I absolutely have NO regrets either because I’ve met some incredible souls, have been given some fantastic opportunities and have learned so much! I’m just ready and really looking forward to injecting my own ideas back in to my work again.

By working hard to complete my existing commissions and opening up more time for myself and my health, I will be able to put this dream, this soul mission in to fruition. I sincerely hope you will continue to give the support you have so kindly given me over the years and that I can bring you along on this exciting new journey.

This is absolutely not me closing the doors either – when I am in a comfortable position to do so, I will take on limited commissions that I have a particular interest in. Thank you so much for your understanding, I hope you will follow my new journey and am as excited as I am!

Krysten

Animatronic taxidermy!

I have recently had the most incredible opportunity to work with Jonny Poole from Animatronic Birds to ‘feather’ the incredible new animatronic form he has been developing over the past few years.

This is unlike ANY other taxidermy project I have ever worked on before so needless to say I was ridiculously excited about the prospect of seeing my taxidermy work ‘come to life’ on a whole other animated level!

Although this project presented many unchartered challenges for me, I’m SO glad I found new and innovative ways to complete it and I’m now equipped with more knowledge and experience in the ever evolving world of taxidermy. Unlike ‘traditional’ taxidermy, the skull was not retained in this specimen and the skin of the Tawny Owl was mounted directly on to the animatronic form itself. I also had to remove the eyelids to reattach them to the form so that they moved fluidly.

Jonny gave me a thorough demo of the animatronic form before I started work so I knew the basics of how it moved and worked – I was honestly blown away by the attention to detail he has gone to, to make it move fluidly like a real owl, even to the degree that if you move the body of the bird, the head stays in the same place!

Turning on the form after I had mounted the skin on to the form was both extremely nerve-racking AND one of the most exciting moments of my taxidermy career so far!

I look forward to working with you again and seeing what exciting new opportunities this may bring in the future 🙂

Krysten

CITES A10 Certification Number: 594926/01

Taxidermy Nuthatch

Hello folks, I hope you’re all doing well and keeping safe! I just wanted to share with you my latest project, a gorgeous little Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

I love seeing them scuttle down the trunks of trees like this, it’s a very signature pose of the nuthatch and both the client and I agreed there was no other way to execute this piece!

I find them to be quite a bolshie garden bird, always top of the heir-achy at the feeding stations (unless a sparrowhawk is nearby of course!) allowing them to get first pickings of the peanuts!

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable little bird to preserve, stopping a moment in natural history through the art of taxidermy 🙂

Commissions Closed

This is a bit of an important blog post regarding my current work schedule. Due to a huge backlog of work I am taking the decision to close my taxidermy books for the time being.

I am incredibly sorry for any inconveniences, but this is not forever! I am just feeling a little overwhelmed (not to mention INCREDIBLY grateful) with the work load I currently have. This will allow me the time to catch up with existing work that I’m trying very hard to complete, as well as produce new taxidermy stock, readily available for purchase which shall be listed to the site on a regular basis.

As a highly creative individual,

Huge thanks for your patience and understanding,

As always, if you have any enquiries at all, please do get in touch.

Krysten x

Taxidermy Ring Neck Pheasant For Sale

Taxidermy in lockdown

I am incredibly grateful to have my workshop here at home, so I’ve still been able to get some work done over this very strange time in all of our lives!

I have recently found the courage to work on a very special specimen that I’ve been putting off for years, due to the fact they are notoriously hard to work with for reasons unknown. They are a bird that are known to have issues when processing, such as ‘feather slip’ where the feathers fall out very easily due to bacteria getting in to the epidermis.

Kingfisher Feathers

I really, really didn’t want to mess this one up, so I took some very deep breaths and prepared myself, took my time and I am SO relieved to say that it came out ok! It is of course, the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), the vibrant jewel found along our lakes waterways in the UK.

If you’re interested in purchasing this piece, please click here for more details

Also completed this week, is this gorgeous Barn Owl that is going home this week. She’s going to be placed upon a beam in a modern barn conversion, so she will feel right at home!

Taxidermy Barn Owl LOG B035 CITES:577296/05

If you want to keep up to date with what I’m currently working on, please do give me a follow on instagram @taxidermyco – see you there!

Covid 19 Update

UPDATE 27/01/2021

Sadly due to the announcement of the tougher restrictions of lockdown regulations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, any orders placed within this timeframe will be significantly delayed.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. Like most people, I am doing everything I can to maintain a ‘normal’ schedule and hope to be back in full swing as soon as the situation permits.

Stay safe and best wishes,

Krysten

UPDATE 03/11/2020

With the announcement of the second lockdown, please note that any orders placed under the new regulations will be delayed until they have been lifted, hopefully on the 2nd December.

I will also be safely holding on to any existing commission work during this time.

If you have any questions or queries, please do get in touch.

Stay safe, stay strong and best wishes,

Krysten

UPDATE 12/06/2020

Due to the lifting of certain aspects of the lockdown, I am now able to post out orders whilst adhering to the guidelines.

I’m still restricting going out and therefore ordering a lot of supplies from online, this includes packaging. So please allow a couple of extra days than usual for delivery.

I am happy to announce that my customers are now safely able to drop off and collect existing work at a safe distance .

If you have any questions or queries, please do get in touch.

Best wishes,

Krysten

UPDATE 25/03/2020

Due to the recent restrictive lockdown measures in the UK, I’m now going to be postponing all orders until further notice.

I am in self isolation due to chronic health conditions. Regardless of this, we have been instructed by the government to not go out, unless it is absolutely essential anyway. I don’t want to put a strain on our delivery men, who are still keeping the country going by delivering essential items.

I hugely appreciate anyone that chooses to support me by making a purchase during this time, but please be aware, there will be a significant delay in getting these orders posted out.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Please stay home.

Krysten

‘Friar Tuck’ Gloster Canary Taxidermy Commission

Now, I don’t usually take on pet commissions, but when a client got in touch about her beloved Gloster Canary, aptly named ‘Friar Tuck’, that had just passed, I couldn’t resist this one.


As I’ve had a lot of experience with birds, I feel a lot more confident taking on such a project as opposed to say, a dog or a cat (which I cannot see myself doing in the future at this point in time) as they carry so much more emotion and expression than birds.

They are still filled with just the same amount of character, none the less! I explained to the client that taxidermy is just a representation of a former animal and cannot carry their ‘spark’ or energy that you may have remembered him by. Once agreed to these conditions, I was happy to proceed.

I had lots of reference images of Friar Tuck from when he was alive that I payed closed attention too when I was modelling the bird. A as a result, the client is happy with how he looks and said:

Oh he looks absolutely amazing! You have done such a good job of capturing his character.

Which is always a massive relief to hear, especially when working on a bird with a bit more significance! This project was finished with installing him in to a nice glass dome with some moss that compliments his plumage well. He’ll be returning to his home next week.

2020 is here!

First post of 2020 albeit a little late!

What have I been up to since the start of the year? Well, for starters I was desperate to get this Roe doe complete so I could have a fresh start to 2020, after putting it back in the freezer for so many months after getting frustrated.

I encountered a lot of issues, plus she had an unusually small head compared to her neck which meant lots of work to modify the form. I’m happy with her considering the circumstances.

I’m nowhere near as confident with mammals as I am with birds, but I hope to improve my mammal skills this year.

Taxidermy Roe Doe Shoulder Mount
Taxidermy Roe Doe Shoulder Mount Commission

Call me the DIY queen!

Also on the agenda was to refurbish my workshop, as my existing work bench was falling to pieces. I took on this project myself as I thought it didn’t look too difficult, looking at video tutorials on youtube.

Heck, was I wrong. They always make it look easier than it is! Throw in chronic fatigue syndrome and relentless pain in to the mix, it took twice as long as what it probably should have done, but I am SO happy with how it’s turning out.

I now have a super sturdy work bench that allows for objects to be placed down and not roll off immediately, AND cupboards that open and close and everything. They’re not the best, I’ll admit, but they are functional which is the most important part, right?!

I’m now well on the way to having a sufficient enough workspace that should last me the next few years at least, ready for all of my exciting projects!

Follow me on Instagram to see what goes on behind the scenes and what I’m working on right now! @TaxidermyCo

Stone Curlew Taxidermy Refurbish

Earlier this year, the Breckland Team of Natural England came across an antique, cased ‘corncrake’ specimen in a local antique shop.

They were very quick to realise that the specimen definitely was NOT a corncrake, but that of a Stone Curlew. The Eurasian Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) is a bird very close to my heart, and the reason I met my other half! They are a very rare visitor to the UK and I’m lucky enough to live right where their breeding grounds are in East Anglia.

I’m even luckier to get exclusive access to them as I get to tag along with my other half who monitors them in the summer months in and around the Brecks. They are fascinating to watch and are FULL of character with those amazing yellow eyes (thought to have cured jaundice back in the Victorian era).

When I was given the taxidermy specimen, it was in a rather sorry state.

He was on the wonk, and needed some serious TLC. To begin with, I carefully prised open the case and removed the Stonie. I was careful and wore gloves and a dust mask as antique specimens are known to contain harmful arsenic which was a preservation method in those days.

I managed to clean off quite a lot of muck and dust from him, using diluted alcohol solution and a hairdryer to dry off and blow away existing dust.

Secondly, I reconstructed the eye and gave him some eyelids to make him appear less, uh, wired. Paintwork and rewiring was the final stage before cleaning the case.

I decided to make the habitat a bit more realistic and typical of Breckland heath, as well as painting the background of Weeting Heath – one of the Stone Curlew’s breeding grounds where you can get great views of them in the summer.

Before.

After.

Natural England were really happy with the end result and they now take the taxidermy Stone Curlew around with them on their educational and training talks!

Autumn Update!

I’m so sorry for the lack of updates recently!

I have been beyond busy completing existing commissions and also preparing for two exhibitions in the winter.

Alongside this, I have also been rebranding myself as ‘Krys the Creator’, giving my art page a bit more love and attention. I made a little promotional video recently, as people generally like to get to know the person behind the social media accounts!  you can view that here:

I’ve been developing a lot of really cool projects recently, still playing around with my new found medium of wood and resin. It’s SO fun to work with.

It takes a long time to perfect the casting, setting and sanding through all the grits to polish up the resin again, but the results are SO worth it.

I want some show stoppers to take to the exhibitions and I think mixing wood and resin with taxidermy is a marriage made in heaven. Here’s my latest creation, which is awaiting a gorgeous taxidermy jay (my favourite bird) to go on top. Jays hoard and stash acorns and I thought this was an unusual way of illustrating their behaviour and ecology, as well as looking beautiful.

Wood and Resin art taxidermy
Art Fair East Krysten Newby Logo

Art Fair East will be the first of the two events I’m exhibiting at. It’s a very prestigious art fair and I’m so lucky and honoured to be a part of it! I’ll be taking a mix of my fine wildlife art and a few select pieces of my ethical taxidermy.

VIP PRIVATE VIEW Thursday 28th November 6pm to 9pm

FAIR OPEN TO PUBLIC Friday 29th November 10.30am to 5.30pm

FAIR OPEN TO PUBLIC Saturday 30th November 10.30am to 6.00pm

FAIR OPEN TO PUBLIC Sunday 1st December 10.30am to 5pm

The second show I’ll be at is the ‘Nightfair Before Christmas’ at the same location in Norwich. I’ll be able to take much more to this event, including art, taxidermy, my needle felting cuties and jewellery.

I’d love to see you there if you can make it! It takes place on the evening of 14th December, 2019.

click on the images to the left for more info.

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