Date: Sunday, October 4th
Time: 12pm – 6.30pm
Admission: $180 (includes all materials for use in class, and complementary museum admission for the day. Students go home with their own finished piece, a chicken sized dinosaur, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future.)
EXPERIENCE LEVEL-Beginner to Intermediate
Limited class size of 10 people
Until fairly recently, paleontologists’ only fossil link between birds and dinosaurs was archaeopteryx-described as a beast with feathered wings, sharp teeth, and the long bony tail of a dinosaur. This hybrid creature could easily be the stuff of legend, but the imprint it has left on the story of evolution is very real. What mysterious events transpired between dinosaur and bird? This class will explore the large scale genetic changes made in a short timescale that resulted in what we know today as modern birds, and the recent tinkerings in by geneticists to engineer a “chicken-o-saurus” in attempts to fill in missing links in the evolutionary story. Taking inspiration from a short lecture and slideshow on these topics, and a bird skinning demonstration focused on evolutionary anatomy, students will create their very own bird dinosaurs using influences and interpretations of natural history.
Students will work with high quality, anatomically correct molded and cast replica heads, beaks, and feet, and learn how to sculpt their own details to make their prehistoric creatures. Taxidermy specific painting and finishing techniques will be demonstrated and used as each student desires. Students will also sculpt and form their own custom bodies, and a selection of professionally prepared bird pelts will be available for use in creating their beast. Students will have the choice of preparing their own pelts or using and modifying pre-prepared pelts (making this the perfect workshop for those who may not want to get their hands dirty). For the extremely creative, feather patching, dyeing, and blending techniques will be discussed.
As always, all specimens are legally and ethically sourced. We will be reviewing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and other applicable laws.
Students go home with their own finished bird creation (approximately the size of a chicken), and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. It is recommended students bring a small bag or box to transport their 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. Winner of a Best in Show trophy and Best in Category ribbon at the GSTA taxidermy show and 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.
All animals are disease free.
Although there will not be a lot of blood or gore, a somewhat strong constitution and maturity are necessary.
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.