Date: Saturday, July 11th
Admission: $110 one headed/$125 two headed (includes all materials for use in class, and complementary museum admission for the day. Students go home with their own finished piece, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. If you do not see the “head option” you want, please email us).
EXPERIENCE LEVEL-Beginner to Intermediate
Limited class size of 11 people
In this class, students will learn all the skills required to make–and leave class with–their very own piece of one- or two-headed anthropomorphic taxidermy.
Anthropomorphic taxidermy–a practice in which animals are posed as if engaged in human activities–was an art form made famous by Victorian taxidermist and museologist Walter Potter. In this class, as profiled by the New York Times, students will learn to create–from start to finish–anthropomorphic mice inspired by the charming and imaginative work of Mr. Potter. Your final project might take the form of a bespectacled, whiskey swilling, top hat tipping mouse; or perhaps a rodent mermaid queen of the burlesque world? With some props and some artful styling, your mouse can become whatever or whomever you want; this is the joy of anthropomorphic taxidermy.
After a short review of Potter’s work, this class will teach students everything involved in producing a fully finished mount, including initial preparation, hygiene and sanitary measures, fleshing, tail stripping, and dry preservation. Once properly preserved, a custom made form and armature will be built and the mice will be posed and outfitted as the student desires, with a selection of props and accessories provided. Students are also encouraged to bring their own accessories and bases if they desire something specific. All other supplies will be provided for use in class, and as always, all specimen are ethically sourced.
Each student will leave class with a fully finished piece, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. It is advised that students bring a bag or small box to transport their finished pieces.
Divya Anantharaman is a Morbid Anatomy Museum Taxidermist in Residence and a Brooklyn based artist whose taxidermy practice was sparked by a lifelong fascination with the intersection of natural mythology and science. With a combination of self and professional training, and an inspiring class (Sue Jeiven’s popular Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class at Observatory!), she has found her calling in creating sickly sweet and sparkly critters. A trophy winner in the 2013 Philadelphia Alt Taxidermy competition, her work and classes have been profiled in numerous publications as varied as National Geographic, The NY Times, The Cut, Vice, BBC Science Radio, and on hit Discovery/Science Channel TV show Oddities. She is also a member of the M.A.R.T. (Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists) and the G.S.T.A. (Garden State Taxidermists Association) You can find out more at www.friendsforevertaxiderm
Also, some technical notes:
We use NO harsh or dangerous chemicals.
Everyone will be provided with gloves and sanitary equipment.
All animals are disease free.
Although there will not be a lot of blood or gore, a somewhat strong constitution and maturity are necessary. We will be seeing meat. In this manner, a good taxidermist prides themselves on working cleanly!
In consideration of other students, please do not dissect carcasses in class. (You are welcome to take the carcass and dissect on your own, instruction can be provided)
All animals are ethically sourced- nothing was killed for this class. Animals used in this class are discards from the feeder/pet food industry, naturally deceased, or discards from the food service industry.
Please do not bring any raw dead animals with you to the class.