Fantastical Beasts & Where to Make Them!

Mythological Fantastical Beast!
Mythological Fantastical Beast!

Mythological Dino Bird Taxidermy Workshop • August 28th 12pm-6/7pm $380pp $170 deposit to reserve seat.

Create your own Fantastic Beast! Class size limited to 6 – Beginner to Intermediate Deposit of $170 required to hold your seat    3 seats remain 19/08/16

In this intensive workshop, we will cover all the basics of taxidermy, focusing specifically on small bird taxidermy with Bantam Chickens. The basics of skull cleaning and wet specimen will also be discussed. Taxidermy is a process of deconstruction and reconstruction, and this class will be divided as such, giving students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the process at their own pace.
 The first half of the afternoon will focus on deconstruction. After a review of basic bird anatomy, with a focus on skeletal structure, muscle groupings, and identifying feather growth patterns, students will use this knowledge to approach their specimen. After getting comfortable with the tools to be used, we will cover the skinning techniques unique to birds, learn how to work with delicate skin, how to repair holes if any are made, and how to clean wing and leg bones in preparation for assembly. Students will also learn the importance of thoroughly fleshing and degreasing/washing, with tips on how to ensure a skin is totally clean in order for preservatives to work effectively. Tracings, measurements, and patterns will be made from the carcass. Students can choose to take their carcass home for dissection or creating a wet specimen (instructions will be provided).
The second half of the workshop is all about constructing your Gaffs; Mythological bird or Dino-bird. Students will custom build a body form, based on the anatomical tracings they made as well as working with pre-tanned small mammal/bird hides (rabbit, squirrel, pigeon, etc)., using the traditional technique of wrapped body. We will cover how to create a stable armature for the finished gaffs when wiring the wings and legs. Students will also learn how to sew for taxidermy, with a focus on smooth and hidden stitches. We will also cover grooming, carding, and drying techniques based on the finished pose desired.
Antlers, glass eyes, and horns will be available for students to customize. Small sterling silver, and bronze crowns, claws, cast crystal antlers/horns will be available for purchase. Students are encouraged to bring in their own items; armour, clothing, saddles, etc., for their mythological or Dino-bird.
Reference photos for finished standing, sitting, and flying poses will be provided for use and inspiration in class via tablet or smartphone, although students are encouraged to bring their own. Instructions for care and maintenance will be given, and students will be instructed on how to do final finishing work after the mount dries, such as sculpting eye rings and airbrushing.

The instructor will be providing demonstrations of each step, and allowing students plenty of individual attention and opportunities to ask questions. A supply and resource list will be emailed to students. 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..

The birds used in this class are humanely sourced, they are naturally deceased or a byproduct of the food industry.

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