Mouse Taxidermy…

June 2, 2013

So I like to do different things and learn.  I can’t always get people to come with me to these things but it doesn’t stop me from doing them.

Taxidermy has been on my list for a couple of years.  I first saw these classes in New York with Diva Anantharaman.  I was hoping to loop it in with a trip to NYC but my list of to do’s was really long and then there was the question around getting it back through customs.

So the idea was planted and the seed slowly grew.  I found these classes but the thought of doing a squirrel which is an animal I really love put me off.

Hazzah!  I saw these classes for mice with Hendrick Gin and went for it!  Note there is no alcohol served as the class is for all ages and scalpels are used a bit.

These are held at the Hackney City Farm which is a great place just to hang out.  They have lots of different classes here plus a great cafe and from what I could tell scrummy food.

I didn’t realise this and went to Mr Buckleys just down the road and had the best bacon, caramel sauce crepe ever!  The location is also near the Columbia Road flower markets which I will venture back to another time.

These classes are taken with Shannon Harmon and there were 19 of us presented with pre killed mice.  To be honest they are quite cute though a little wet from defrosting.

Very quickly we were straight into it cutting open the belly.  At this stage we don’t actually take any of the organs out, ideally these stay intact to prevent any smells!  Then we have to break the joints of the arms and legs – surprisingly these are quite strong.  Once this is done everything everything comes out and you are left with a little mouse coat.

This often leave the mouse a bit covered in blood so after a quick wash we hung them on a pin board and used a hair dryer to get them dry.

Then was the fun part.  Using cotton wool, string and wire we recreated their bodies and put them into poses whilst waiting for the tanning oil inside them to dry.

I had brought mine a top hat and cane.

Not bad for a first attempt.

So did I like it?  Yep.  I really enjoyed learning the process and understanding what happens.  I also understand more about the animal’s body which is good if I ever need to catch something to eat.  But I don’t think it will becomes a regular activity as there are still so many more things I want to do like learn to letterpress!

Have you done anything like this?

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  • Shannon Harmon July 19, 2013 at 17:13

    Im glad you enjoyed it!