Taxidermy: Tips For Newbie UK Buyers

taxidermy teeth and bones

Hey pals!

This lovely girl, Cecile, gave me so much information about local and UK taxidermy before she goes to France to become part of the scene there because I’m kind of interested in it and possibly buying some pieces (mainly bones for me) and want to buy from decent places and I know there are likely tonnes of blogs full of this content, but my blog tends to be what I’m interested in as and when I am interested in it! So, this week it’s taxidermy! Hope you enjoy!

 

For those local to Brighton, there’s a great place next to the post office on North Road called DIGS and this is where Cecile was learning how to do taxidermy. Run by a woman called Victoria and her products are very high quality so high price.

Around the corner in the North Laines, there is a Bazaar where Cecile got most of her stuff. The Snoopers Attic can be good, she said, but the flea market can be more hit or miss in Kemptown. Sometimes they price items like new ones but the ears are worn out or teeth broken, so keep an eye at any market.

Online UK shops can be quite easily found via instagram and tend to sell through Etsy.

The Maiden Mother & Crone Interiors is the most known in the UK and have some very interesting pieces turning taxidermy in to art pieces. This is her personal account with pieces on too.

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Made From The Dead taxidermy by Tonja Grung is another popular one. Her instagram says wet specamines but I saw a lot of lizards, birds and butterflies.

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You can browse these two shops’ followings for more creators and stores, the taxidermy world is quite small apparently. You can follow hashtags like #taxidermy #oddities #vultureculture and #diaphonisation (which is a new and very interesting technique) and it you’re into formol and jars there is #wetspecimen

 

If you end up shopping abroad, you’ll end up paying a fortune on shipping, permits and notifications of transport. There are different rules in different countries about what Taxidermy is allowed.

 

For more Skulls and Bones type content:

Headsnbones has a lot of great stuff.

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Osteal Jewellery have a lot of bone taxidermy but also jewellery which is pretty cool.

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And finally, the Mandible Menagerie.

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There’s also a Facebook group called ‘Skull Collecting’ that people can join for more of a community learning and making friends.

 

Cecile gave me all this information, so now I know where to go locally and within the UK generally too for everything I need and want! She is now moving (if not already moved) to France and is determined to be a taxidermy ambassador as there is only 70 people licensed to do taxidermy all over the country and she hopes to help get the numbers up.

Go give her a follow on instagram!

The most important thing for me was ethical businesses and she says most of the people listed use ethically sourced materials (because they have to, to run a business) and for more exotic specimens you have to have the certificate of origin!

 

This might seem a bit odd that I, a vegetarian, is interested in taxidermy, but I like the idea that the bodies of animals become a new form of art and have a new lease of life being decoration or jewellery after their life has departed. Taxidermy is not meant to be from hunted animals, and I am entirely against hunting.

 

I hope this was fun and a bit different for all!

 

~ Artie

Getting an Ankle Tattoo: My Experience

Hey pals,

I have few tattoos, but they are all in sensitive places. I personally would say they were all equally as painful, they were all 15 minutes or less, but people say an ankle tattoo is supposed to be pretty difficult to get done. Here’s my experience.

I had decided I wanted this design on my inner left ankle, it was a charity flash day so a cheeky £50 for it isn’t bad, and I mostly let the tattoo artist (Rebecca Vincent) choose the placement. She seemed more worried than I was and was convinced I was going to kick her from the pain. Like I said to begin, it didn’t really hurt any more than my others did. The worst parts were the outer edges because they stung a lot more, and the parts near my tendon but only because it made my foot twitch it wasn’t painful.

So, generally it’s a pain I can deal with especially if it’s 20 minutes or less! And everyone has a different pain threshold. All I can say is, if it’s something you want, you should should get it. (Most tattoo minimum prices are £80 and if they are lower, you might want to be sceptical if it isn’t a flash day.)

~ Artie

Stupid Things Buyers Have Asked Me

Hey pals,

I sell a lot of items online, across different platforms, so I’ve had these questions below multiple times about different items across the platforms… and I wanted to talk about why these questions are stupid and how to ask a similar question and actually get an answer that would help you as a buyer and the seller.

(note: this is an abrasive and rant-like post because hearing these questions so often is extremely frustrating especially considering I am selling my items relatively cheaply to try and shift items and make at least a little bit of money)

‘Have you tried it on to know how it fits compared to a women’s dress size?’ (about a mens blazer)

Men’s sizing is in inches, it’s not a stupid made up number like women’s, so knowing the size (which was on the post) she could measure herself and decide if she thought it was too big. I said something along these lines but a bit more polite. Her response was: ‘oh it would definitely fit i am only a size 8 which is a 36” chest i just wondered how big/oversized it fits, how it hangs, if the shoulders might look silly etc’

My response was: i dont know, I wear a mens 42 and i’m a 14/16. Each jacket has a different style/cut and each body is different, I wouldn’t be able to advise on your body and how this jacket would look sorry

I have never been a true size 8, I have no idea what that life is like. My waist is about the size of her chest, for reference. I’m tall, broad, big boobed and have unusually long arms. I know from experience with my body that things don’t look the same on everyone. My mum for example is the same ish weight as me, 2-3 inches shorter than me and carries her weight on her bum whereas mine is on my waist. We might be similar clothing sizes, but we look totally different. Also I’m selling this blazer for £10 including UK postage, so either buy it to see if it’ll fit coz its way cheaper than any other blazer you’ll find, or fuck off?

People offering lower than the price im selling an item at, getting my response of sure I can post on this day shall I change the price on the listing, and then they say: ‘cant buy until…’ (insert a day of the week somewhere between 4 and 10 days away)

I often reply with: okay well message me again on the day if it’s still available. 

This one replied: ‘okay not 100% sure yet tho’

Why are you messaging me if you don’t even know if you want it? What a waste of everyone’s time here. 

‘Do you have a pic of this on?’

I sell lots of items of all sizes either because family or friends have given them to me to sell or because I’ve changed size so much over the years. Most of the time I’ll try to add a picture of it on if it still fits just to avoid this question, but if I haven’t I also will not go out of my way to take one because it’s a dumb question. 

This particular instance I said: no it’s not my size. What are you looking for from a photo of it on? I might be able to give more information.

Coz yanno i still wanna sell these items so if I can measure the length of something for you, sure I will, but I’m not putting it on coz we probably don’t look anything alike!

Her reply: it was just really the length of it

So i said: i can measure it for you tomorrow if you like (it was nearly midnight and i wasn’t gonna get up to do it now)

She replied the next morning: thanks

I couldn’t reply til the evening: sorry for delay i was a bit busy today, it’s 31 inches long

Didn’t even get a reply of thanks but no thanks, which is super fucking rude. 

‘Hello your shirt caught my attention and i would like to see it before buying if you happen to live in (enter city here) by any chance?’

For starters the location is on my posts (which is not exactly where I live but that’s the town on my address, and needless to say it is not in the city this person was asking about)

I said: no I don’t live in ______. About half an hour drive outside. It’s as it looks in the photo. It’s been worn a couple of times, practically as new. 

No reply. 

The question was stupid because you can see my location and it’s just wasting time asking something like that, and getting my hopes up for a sale to just not even bother responding. Also £5 for the t-shirt, do you need to come see it first?

There are many many more situations like this and worse. I face many rude people regularly and many silly questions like the ones above which mostly never end in a sale, which makes it even more frustrating because I am not even getting paid for my time answering. Occasionally I get really lovely buyers or really quick and easy transactions that do make this worth it (I once sold something to someone at 2/3 of the price because they were so nice and respectful to me, remember politeness always pays) and I do appreciate those buyers so much!

Leave a comment with your worst or best experiences selling (or buying) second-hand so I don’t feel so alone! I’ve told a lot of these to a friend of mine who literally cannot relate at all and has never had an issue…

Check out my depop where I sell most of my things now!! I am unable to work as I am chronically ill and disabled and making sales really does help me afford travel, petrol, private health care, etc.

~ Artie

What I Love About Autumn

I never thought I’d be this excited about Autumn. I don’t like the cold because I can never keep warm and I’m not a huge fan of Christmas looming. But after the longest and most gruelling summer I’ve experienced in my adult life, I’m ready for a bit of chill. So this is my written dedication to what I love about Autumn.

Orange, brown, red, yellow leaves crunching beneath my shoes. Watching them twirl and dance in the breeze as they fall. Wearing jeans and thick knitwear and scarves and hats. Being able to show off my collection of jumpers, a different one every day, I own enough to not wear one twice for at least two weeks. Warm bed socks at home, too thick for my shoes but perfect for lounging. Crawling into a onesie, the only acceptable time of year to wear one. Wearing jogging bottoms around the house without getting too hot. Not needing a fan and being able to use a heater. Sitting by my window, the glass so cold it reaches out and tickles my skin, drinking a hot chocolate, the combination giving me goose bumps.

Seeing the sky turn pink at 6pm, finally seeing the meaning of cotton candy skies. Trading in my beloved iced coffee for spiced coffee.

Halloween festivities, watching films and TV shows about witches, dressing up in costume, carving pumpkins and using the leftovers to cook a wonderful snack. Eating the seeds and remembering the friend who first fed them to me and taught me how to make them.

Reading. Everywhere. Snuggling up in my autumn clothes in a café or at home, reading whatever is taking my fancy. Not quite reading the winter and Christmas books I reserve for December.

Bonfire season. Something I didn’t get to participate in for three years in London for university. Every village and town has their own designated date for a bonfire or firework show all starting from the last weekend of September. Wrapping up in my warmest clothes, walking round the village with friends, cans from the corner shop in hand, maybe stop in a pub or two. Watch the parade of people dressed up and carrying Guy Fawkes, shuffle over to watch the fire being lit and the sparkles scatter in the black sky. Every laugh or breath comes out as a puff of fog. You can’t feel your fingers.

This is what I’ve missed about Autumn.

~Artie