Today was a crazy day. There was a lot to do, and a lot to listen to.
This is my antler plaque. It's usually done for smaller sets of antlers that would be considered unnecessary to mount the whole deer. The white is a leather and the black is just braided ropes. There were a variety of colors to choose from but I stuck to pretty contrasty colors.
I also had to upholster the bottom of my deer mount because it is a wall pedestal. It sits off the wall in a way where you can kind of see underneath it. The white is leather with quilt bedding under it. The t-pins and staples hold it in place and it drums across the form.
Finished! But upside-down.
Finished, right side up.
Brenda's hog - she is going to flesh it and turn the ears tomorrow. (That is hard on a deer, and harder on a hog.) Here's a short video of it:
We painted turkey heads today. I didn't feel like spending $45 on an artificial head or $75 on a freeze dried head, so I painted an extra one that Chip had in the shop, and I won't get to keep it. I'm not terribly heartbroken.
Believe it or not, this is actually the colors they are.
Colors in a bottle.
Painted, glossed, spotted and finished fish! The bass will belong to Mom and Dad, and the trout is for Mimi and Papa. Enjoy! (Finished meaning they lack bases. But I think I'll do those when I get home from school because it would be dumb to ship a piece of driftwood.)
We sat for a long time today and listened to Chip talk about tanning processes and other things that are very important. I took so many notes, I could practically write a short story about the history of tanning. Apparently, you can boil out a deers brain and tan the hide with the brain juice. You can also just pee on the cape and that's called a urine tan. Both of those methods are not used anymore, but actually work.
Today we watched Chip skin a life sized mount. We got ours already tanned, so we needed to learn how to actually skin. We used Dave's fox as an example. It was really interesting. I kept the fox's skull. It is a grey fox and it is beautiful. It was at first a little weird because I kind of fell in love with the fox when it was not skinned, I examined it for about ten minutes, looking at the way it was all put together and feeling how its ears were attached, how its eyes fell around the inner membranes. I looked at the lips and counted the raised spots on the insides and noticed exactly how the teeth fit together. I touched its legs and feet and felt the tendons and how they worked to move the ends of the legs. Seeing it skinned was weird but instantly turned intereststing. It's actually pretty difficult, especially when it comes to flipping the ears inside out and laying out the skin around the nose, eyes and mouth flat so that when you tan it, you don't miss any spots.
The following images and videos are of Chip skinning the fox. Don't watch them if you don't want to see it. The photos below will also be graphic. I'll make them small so they aren't gorey, but you can click on them to make them larger.
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VIDEOS - if you listen, it's kinda funny. It's not one of the more hilarious moments, but what we talk about is just kinda ... boring. I guess there isn't much to do while we are just ... watching this.