A great piece about a true art form.
“Please excuse the smell; I’ve been boiling skulls, would you like a cup of tea?” For Jazmine Miles-Long, a 29-year-old taxidermist, this does not appear to be an odd thing to say.
Boiling is her modus operandi for stripping the flesh off skulls, she explains. Some taxidermists prefer to mail-order colonies of flesh-eating beetles, called dermestids to get the job done instead.
“If they get too warm they fly and then they eat everything, so I’d worry they’re a bit of a hazard,” she explains. Suffice to say, being a taxidermist is not for the squeamish.
We are in her Hastings workshop and on the roster today are two mink. A spider crab lies pickling in a barrel outside and upstairs is a freezer-full of deceased birds and animals. On the desk is a cabinet filled with glass eyes of different shapes and sizes and on the wall are detailed anatomical drawings of various animals.
“When I meet people and they ask me what I do, I have to judge whether or not to tell them that I am a taxidermist,” she explains, fiddling with a mink body she has fashioned from wire and wood wool.
Read more at The Guardian