Date: Sunday July 12th
Admission: $185 one headed/$200 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” that you want, please email us.)
EXPERIENCE LEVEL-Beginner to Intermediate
Limited class size of 10 people
This class will teach students of all levels everything they need to know about proper taxidermy technique for very delicate specimen like chicks. Tips, tricks, and techniques for a successful bird mount, from skinning to grooming, will be covered in depth. Using this knowledge, students will have the choice of creating a naturalistic or anthropomorphic mount. As always, all specimen are ethically sourced-the birds used in this class are naturally deceased or by-products of the pet food industry.
From Victorian curiosity cabinets to Coney Island sideshows, gaff making has held it’s place in history, and our hearts. We will go over the details that make a two headed gaff truly convincing-or comical! Students are encouraged to get creative. Having been commissioned to work on natural oddities (like two faced or ‘Janus’ kittens) and custom made supernatural freaks (many conjoined chick gaffs), the instructor will draw upon her experience to help students create their very own memorable mounts.
Students will learn everything involved in the production of a fully finished taxidermy mount, including initial preparation, hygiene and sanitary measures, fleshing, and dry preservation. Forms will be built using the tried and true traditional method of wrapped body, and various techniques will be presented for attaching the second head, with techniques that make a gaff seamless. Once properly preserved, the chicks can be posed and outfitted as the student desires. Although a selection of props and accessories will be provided by the instructor, students are also welcome to bring their own accessories and bases; all other materials will supplied.
Each student will leave class with a fully finished piece, and the knowledge to create their own pieces in the future. We will also cover the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other applicable laws for working with birds and legally obtaining specimens. 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.