what do you do if you only have the pelt and not the carcass of that specific animal (eg buying it instead of skinning it yourself)? how do you make sure the head fits?
If you don’t have the carcass to go by, you just do the best you can by looking at a LOT of references of the species you’re mounting and measuring the hide to find the right form. You lay the hide flat on a table and then take four measurements: A,B,C,& D
A - Nose to Eye
B - Circumference of the Neck
C - Nose to the base of the Tail
D - Circumference of the Girth, measured at the widest part of the animal
After taking those measurements, you compare the numbers to the sizes listed on the forms.
You have to pick a form that’s as close to your measurements as possible. If the form is too small the skin will bunch up and if the form is too big the mount will look ‘bloated’.
Sometimes you’ll have a form where the body fits perfectly but the head that comes with it that’s too big or small. In these instances, you can order a change-out head to replace the head on the form.
You have to make alterations on every mount like adding clay to widen the head or using filling/adhesives to fill in gaps between the hide and the form. Each animal is unique, so the forms are really just a base to work off of rather than a form made to fit the animal perfectly. If you don’t have any pictures of the actual animal you’re mounting, or the carcass, then just mount it to the best of your abilities, keeping in line with the basic anatomy of the species and altering the form as you need so the skin fits over it properly.
Salt preservation : Birds
this post will show parts of birds and some taxidermy practices, if you cant handle these please scroll past.
This is a budget friendly method that I often use along with others in my community, it uses plain table salt which can be purchased in bulk from any grocery store for a dollar or less.
**THE BIRD MUST BE FRESH, IF ANY ROT HAS SET IN THIS WILL NOT WORK**
(if not fresh don’t be discouraged, i will post something like this about how to keep bones)
I will be using this hawk, his body will be turned into ceremonial pieces
Bird specimen in fair condition (check the legality of the bird before you collect, you can get prison time from a simple mistake!)
some trash bags / newspaper
A knife or scalpel , sharper the better
Pliers (optional, better for bigger birds)
String / Rope / Or twine
A LARGE piece of cardboard or wood (you will need lots of room to pose the wings )
Pushpins / nails
paper or plastic sandwich bags
Plain table salt (include pic) no dot
To get started
Set up a clean workspace to get started, laying down a trash bag or even some newspaper will help with any possible messes. Have all your supplies ready to go, make sure the salt is opened , your string is cut , and your knife is out so you wont have anything hindering you once you get started.
Spread the birds wings and feel around at the base for the closet joint to the body , this will kind of be like digging in the birds armpit, you should be able to feel the bone that connects it.
this next part can be done by hand or with pliers, grasp the birds body in one hand and the base of the wing in the other, now your going to twist backwards until you feel the bone snap
when that is done use your blade the slowly cut away at the base until the wing is free from the body
When free it should look something like this
unlike the wing, you can cut the foot at any pint you like , if you want to get it higher in the thigh so the feathers will remain repeat the method used for wings
if you want to cut them where the skin starts (great for key chains) simply use your knife to cut a clean line around the area to the bone and use the pliers to break it , try to keep the top clean as possible and refrain from shards of bone sticking out
When removed it should look something like this ( the white line is to represent the “key chain cut”)
this can be a little tricky at first but once you learn what to feel for you'll have no problem
feel for the base of the birds tail just above where the larger feathers connect
this will NOT cut through the birds genitals, if it does you're to high up
you will feel where it connects pretty easily , when you do take your knife and repeat the method from the feet, cutting down through muscle until your all the way through
when you're done it should look something like this
The salting process
(salt / string / board)
fill the corner of the bag with salt and place the base of the wing into the salt
you only need to cover the bloody / internally exposed part with the salt as it needs to be dried out
secure the bag around the base with the string, make sure no salt spills out if you tip it , you want a tight seal
lay the wing face down on the cardboard / wood and spread it into the open position as if the bird was flying
use the pushpins / nails to keep in in its open position (zip-ties can be used the hold the base to the board more securely)
when you hold the board upright it shouldn't sag or fall, it should be secured
when your’e done it should look something like this
this is probably the easiest thing to do in terms of salt preserving
fill the corner of the bag with salt and place the top of the leg/ foot into the bag, using the string to tie it off
again, make sure its a tight seal for best results
its going to look something like this
(Tip: you can put a ball of tinfoil in the grasp with the nails poked in to hold it so it poses in an open position)
this honestly isn't 100% necessary you could instead pluck and keep the feathers, but since i’m making the base for a fan i wont be doing that.
fill the bag with salt and place the tail base inside
use string to secure the bag ( tight seal!) , keep in mind when tying it off to not tie to high so the tail will still be able to spread out
place the tail onto the board and spread it into a fanned position using as many pins/nails as you need to keep it firmly in place
it should look something like this
(This will be made into a very beautiful ceremonial fan, a buckskin handle will be added along with beadwork )
The waiting stage
leave the parts in a cool dry place so they can cure, this can be in a shed a closet or, if you're like my grandpa, leave it right in the living room so you can keep an eye on its progress.
This is going to take up to 2 / 3 months, so don’t get angry if its not done the next day this is a great lesson in patience and waiting to see the fruits of you're labor
this is the wing of an owl that i made using this same method, its stiff and durable and gives a great breeze when fanned.
(tip: use a tooth brush after the process to get rid of salt stuck to feathers/ the stump)
If you use this tutorial i’d love to see your work! feel free to make a post and tag me, thank you for the support
The parts used in this tutorial will become ceremonial pieces, as a native american i am able to possess these parts as per ->
Modern Christians are so weak. Earlier this afternoon I mentioned to my mom that I was wanting a skull tattoo and she said "oh that's disgusting and satanic. Christians don't associate with skulls."
Ok besides the fact that half of Christians wear metal depictions of a man being executed, Christians historically have always been strange and macabre. It's sort of what comes out of a religion that claims to eat the flesh and drink the blood of a God who was dead for three days.
Look at this church. Normal, right?
No. This is a church literally decorated entirely with human bones. Here's the chandelier:
It's called the Sedlec Ossuary, located in Kutna Hora, Czechia and is adorned with the bones of an estimated 40,000-70,000 people. (They weren't killed for this purpose, but were dug up from their Graves.)
Imagine taking the Eucharist here, eating Christ's body and drinking Christ's blood, while staring eye-to-empty-eye-socket at a real human skull. Horrifying.
That cross on the wall has 17 skulls. Seventeen human heads. That's metal as fuck.