Beginner Taxidermist Package
This package is designed for our new students who just can't decide what to take first; we recommend that you take both with this package and save! Between these two classes, students will get a thorough overview of a wide variety of taxidermy techniques for both mammals and birds. For a thorough description of both classes, see below.
With this package, you may choose from any dates for Birds 101 or Mammals class that we post within one year after you purchase. Birds 101 is taught once a month while Skinning, Tanning, and Bone Cleaning is taught once every other month, so you have plenty of chances within that year to pick dates that work for you!
Once you have picked a date, you can email us at jen(at)preytaxidermy(dot)com to reserve your spot in that class.
This class is recommended for individuals who have not done taxidermy or bird taxidermy before and are looking to learn the craft. Birds are a perfect way to start learning taxidermy because their skin does not require the tanning process; therefore, students can learn the basics in one class!
Each student will learn museum quality techniques; skinning, fleshing, wiring, mounting and grooming their own bird to take home. All supplies, tools & specimens will be provided and are included in the class fee. We will be working on European Starlings that were collected as nuisance animals, not related to the art.
MAMMAL SKINNING, TANNING, & BONE CLEANING
The most important aspect to creating quality taxidermy is proper prep and preservation: skinning and tanning. Don't let your creations end up in one of those Crap Taxidermy threads. Learn how to skin with precision for taxidermy and how to make skin clean and durable through the process of tanning. Why is tanning important? Look here!
No formal skinning skills are required, but students should be prepared to work with sharp scalpels and utilize fine hand skills. Students will be working on various medium sized mammals acquired from natural death, abatement work or other deaths not related to the art.
Each student will work with a partner in the class on a shared specimen in order to maximize our time. Students will learn the following techniques: scalpel work, skinning for taxidermy, measurements, splitting lips/eyelids/noses, opening ears, fleshing on the wheel and salting their skin.
Because tanning is a several week process, the tanning portion of the class will be a hands-on demonstration. Students will learn the chemistry behind tanning and view every step of the process in the 'cooking show' style: acid pickle, mid-pickle fleshing, immersion tanning and oiling the hide.
Students will receive the tanning formula recipe with detailed tanning instructions. This is the exact formula trusted by the Natural History Museum for almost half a century. Though students will not be able to take home the mammal skin, they will leave with the ability to properly skin and tan mammals on their own.
Students will also be taken through Prey's step-by-step method of bone cleaning that minimizes smell and doesn't use toxic chemicals. This is ideal for bone preservation and articulation as an alternative to keeping a colony of beetles. Each student will take home a medium sized mammal skull and a detailed packet explaining each step that was reviewed in class.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Please be aware that once you have picked a date for your birds or mammals class, you must cancel before 72 hours of class start time to reschedule.