Taxidermy Barn Owl in Flight

Taxidermy Barn Owl Commission


Sorry for lack of blog posts recently – following on from the last, my health has been playing up recently so I haven’t been able to get much done.

But here’s a few pictures of a lovely taxidermy Barn Owl I recently completed for a customer. This was my first ringed specimen I have worked with and found out it was ringed as a nestling in 2011 which was interesting!

She wanted it displayed in flight to accompany an existing tawny owl she had. She found the owl deceased in woodland, freshly dead, poor little thing.

I wanted to make the piece a little bit more dynamic by making it look as if the owl was just about to land on a branch. I did this by suspending the owl by one foot, having the other one ‘mid air’ about to clasp on to the branch.

At the same time, I did a bit of refurb work on the existing tawny owl she had (not mounted by me) de-dusting him and making him sparkle again.

I think the pair look impressive together!

I’m currently working on a full mount badger, so look out for that one in a blog post in the very near future, or see everything sooner as it happens on my Instagram page: @TaxidermyCo

 

Chronic illness diaries

As some of you may know if you’ve read my ‘about me’ page, I briefly mention my life altering chronic illness.

I live with Rheumatoid Arthritis (since the age of 9), Fibromyalgia/M.E, debilitating Chronic Fatigue and some other weird and wonderful ailments. Every day is a battle and I am rarely well enough to leave the house, so this is why I am an an artist and taxidermist.

It allows me to keep my mind off of my chronic pain and other symptoms and to work from home.

I do get days and weeks sometimes, where I am unable to leave my bed, so my work can sometimes be slow-going.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my customers for their patience and understanding whilst my health is not as good as it should be, I really do appreciate your support.

Although there isn’t a cure for my conditions, I hope for one day in the future that there is some solution that will give me some relief so I am able to experience life to the fullest and reduce my turnaround time for commissions.

But until then, I have to continue to manage my illnesses the best I can, take time out to recover when I need to and drink lots of tea!

– Krysten xx

Taxidermy Wren on Toadstool – project complete!

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I recently completed the little Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) I have been working on recently.

I experimented with crafting a Fly agaric toadstool out of epoxy clay for him to sit on, I am so happy with the end result!

The glass dome completes the piece and is now sitting pride of place in my nan’s dining room. She bought it from me before it had the chance to go on sale as she adored it so much!

I hope you like the finished piece, I will be experimenting with more fungi in the near future.

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Taxidermy Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) work in progress.

Taxidermy Wren


Earlier this year, I dropped my darling cat (sarcasm) off to the cattery as I was going on holiday. At the entrance, there was another cat’s ‘kill pile’ which I obviously scooped up, and in the pile was this gorgeous Wren! So small and delicate.

As this is the smallest thing I have worked with, I was very surprised at how he turned out, considering he got attached by a cat too! The smaller an animal is, the harder and more fiddly it is to work with!

Autumn marks the start of Fungi season and after feeling inspired by nature, this is what sparked the idea for this project.

I sculpted a typical toadstool (Fly agaric) from polymer clay and spray-painted it. After I had completed the wren, I mounted it on to the mushroom and created a little habitat base, I love how this turned out!

Just awaiting the glass dome now and it shall be another project complete.

I hope you like it!

Taxidermy Soft Mount Fox – 2nd Edition!

I’m delighted to have received another taxidermy ‘Soft Mount’ commission!

I have had a lot of enquiries about soft mounts recently, the popularity of them has seemed to of risen as of late.

What exactly is a ‘soft mount’? I hear you cry!


Soft mount taxidermy is where the skin of the animal is processed much the same way as it would be if it were a traditional mount.

The only difference is, that instead of the skin being mounted on to the rigid form (apart from the head that is still traditionally set on to a rigid cast of the skull), it is instead ‘stuffed’ with polyfill (the same stuff teddy bears are filled with!) to give a flexible, posable, floppy and cuddly effect.

Taxidermy Fox

Unlike facilities in America, the U.K does not have commercial tanneries (to my knowledge!) which allows taxidermists to send off the raw or ‘green’ pelts after skinning for them to process and be sent back as a flexible, fully cured and tanned pelt, ready for mounting.

This means I have to do every single process myself.

I shall not bore you with the technical details, but over the years, prior to ‘taxidermy-ing’ the skin, I have learned to do the following processes successfully in my workshop at home:

  • Skinning

  • De-fleshing

  • Salting

  • Pickling

  • Shaving

  • Neutralising

  • Tanning

  • Drying & Tumbling

  • Breaking the hide (which turns the skin side of the hide in to a flexible, suede like leather)

As well as hand-making the mannequin forms for the skin to be mounted on to, so a lot more skill is involved than simply just ‘Stuffing’ an animal!

I pride myself in being an ethical taxidermist, so absolutely NONE of the animals I work with are killed for the purpose of taxidermy. 

This is why my recent client chose to work with me on producing her ethical soft mount British Red Fox – the majority of soft mount fox’s I have seen on the internet are either sourced from fur-farms or hunted and trapped specifically for their fur (both of which I absolutely do not agree with)

She requested different coloured eyes and no armature, so he is extra flexible and cuddly!

I’m gonna miss him when he goes to his new home.

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Orders will resume 03/10/2017

I’ve been working non stop for the past few months, so I’m currently away on a much needed little break!

All orders made between 24/09/2017 – 02/10/2017 will resume on 03/10/2017

Any emails and enquiries made between these dates will also be replied to as soon as I am able to upon my return.

Taxidermy Co. is solely managed by myself,

sorry for any inconvenience!

-Krysten

Taxidermy Cockatiel – Work In Progress

Taxidermy Cockatiel


This week, I had a rummage through the freezer and found this little beauty!

A female captive bred cockatiel that died of natural causes.

British Wildlife will always be my number one passion, but I do enjoy working with something a bit more exotic once in a while.

It always amazes me in the washing and drying process how be-draggled they look. I always think

“there’s no way that this is going to resemble a bird again”

but somehow, it always does! Gives you an idea of the resilience of these creatures.

I have placed her on a simple handmade turned wood perch.

 

She will be available to purchase as soon as she has dried and set, please get in touch to make reservations.

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As seen in British VOGUE magazine

Taxidermy Co in British Vogue


This month, I have a little feature in British Vogue magazine this month (October edition), which is SUPER exciting!

I was contacted by British Vogue asking if I wanted a feature in their ‘Vogue’s Show Home’ section as they thought I’d bring something a little different to the feature.

I agreed and I am so happy with how it’s turned out. I will be featuring as part of a 3 month campaign so the advert will run right up until the December issue.

I’m allowed to change the image each time too, but I thought I’d start with my ‘show stopper’ piece, my magnificent black-shouldered peacock who stands at 6ft tall!

The write up reads:

Krysten Newby of TAXIDERMY CO is a passionate, contemporary taxidermy artist based in rural Suffolk. She practices her art with meticulous care, using ethically sourced specimens and excels in restoring them to their former beauty. Her work is available to purchase at www.taxidermyco.uk to email info@taxidermyco.uk – bespoke orders taken.

Only onwards and upwards from here!

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Taxidermy Mandarin Duck Commission – Complete!

I have recently completed my first ever Mandarin Duck commission (first duck of any kind actually!).

My client stumbled across him deceased and wanted to restore his beauty forever and wanted him posed on an ancient oak branch he found.

A bespoke glass case was also made for this taxidermy project, courtesy of Immortal cases & displays  who did an excellent job of catering to the requirements.

Because of the addition of the artificial water habitat base, I needed a wooden ‘tray’ style of base to contain it, which is what was made.

I added some ripples to the resin water which I think helps bring this piece to life.

This project produced a lot of ‘firsts’ for me, but I am super happy with how this project turned out!

Please check out the gallery of images below

Juvenile Goldfinch Taxidermy Commission

Juvenile Goldfinch Taxidermy Project


Here’s what I have been working on this week!

A juvenile Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) that unfortunately met his demise flying in to a window.

My customer wanted the wings displayed out, so I posed this little bird in a take off position, which shows off the ‘gold’ fabulously.

I find small birds particularly challenging due to their delicate, fiddly nature, they can spoil very quickly which can lead to feather loss.

But this time, I soaked the bird in denatured alcohol prior to skinning, which helps preserve the skin as well as toughening it a little, making them less liable to feather loss. Works a treat!

See below work in progress pictures (don’t look if you’re squeamish!).

I love how most stages look like a complete feathery mess and I always think “There’s no way this is going to turn out looking anything like a bird” but somehow, by some sort of miracle, they do.

I’ll pop him on a branch once he is dry to complete this project.

Instagram Giveaway Competition – Win A Taxidermy Mouse Terrarium!

Instagram Giveaway Competition – Win a taxidermy mouse terrarium!


Want to win one of my taxidermy mouse terrariums? Head over to the @taxidermyco instagram page to find out more!

All you have to do is follow the page and repost the featured image with #TaxidermyCo to be in with a chance.

One lucky winner will be chosen at random on the 31st July at 7pm (GMT).

Don’t worry if you don’t have Instagram and you’re missing out this time, I’ll be running other competitions in the near future on other social media sites.

Sign up to the mailing list on the footer of this page to be informed of new contests and exclusive news!

Good Luck!

 

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