Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Moving Around

Apologies for the lack of updates here, I was considering moving my blog to my website domain, but have now decided that I like it better here.

My website has undergone a new look: http://www.foxtrailtaxidermy.com/ , feedback is very welcome!

I am going to attempt to update this blog once or twice a week from now on. I will include tips, tutorials, taxidermy articles, book reviews etc etc!!

If you would like to request anything in particular, please let me know via this blog! Alternatively, you can send me an email at foxtrailtaxidermy@hotmail.co.uk (Mark it 'Blog')

I hope that all the Americans who read this are having a great holiday!

Friday, 26 October 2012

How to use Google Checkout to purchase items

Hi guys!

I am still having some problems with my paypal account and so I have switched over to Google checkout. I prefer it by far so far! Many people seem pretty confused when it comes to using google checkout as a payment method though. So I have written up this little guide!

How to use Google Checkout!

1) Determine the total cost of your purchase, including shipping. The currency will be converted to £GBP, but anything you pay will of course be paid in your own currency, from you bank account.

2) If using Etsy, purchase the item and select 'other' as your payment method.

3) I will need your EMAIL. This can be a google email, or anything else. You will be prompted to create a google wallet account to pay for your purchase/s. DO NOT WORRY, this is a one time thing and it will be linked to your bank account or credit/debit card. It functions very similar to paypal with the same fee structure.

4) I will email you an invoice of the full amount required.

5) You will then pay the invoice, and I will charge it to you card/bank etc

6) That's it! You will also receive a shipping confirmation and/or tracking number when the item is dispatched.

Also I have a 10% OFF Etsy coupon code! Enter 'INARI1' for your discount!

My Etsy store is here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFoxTrail

Friday, 19 October 2012


Sorry for the lack of updates, I am really busy with getting everything ready to launch my business! I am trying to make lots of taxidermy examples at the moment too, for a photo portfolio to show the 'board' next Thursday. Very nervewrecking indeed.

This week I have been doing various things, including preparing some cute rabbits for taxidermy. Here they are frozen whole:

Unfortunately the smallest black one slipped badly on it's face and back, so I just kept some of the pelt and the feet. The rest are all being preserved in denatured alcohol, or being tanned. Hopefully I will get to mounting them in a day or so :)

Finally I got around to tackling my fox cub! It took me a long time, as I had to correct various mistakes, and I was going off only measurements, no carcass drawings or anything.

She turned out like this:

I am pretty happy with her, with her being my first ever fox! She's very cute and fluffy, and I will have a hard time parting with her, I feel. I had some issues with her ears and such, and her face, but I think she turned out okay, and I learned a lot!

Well, I am off to work on a squirrel now!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Recent projects

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, I have been doing a lot of artwork as well. You can find my art blog here: http://foxtrailart.blogspot.co.uk/

Today I mounted two rats using the traditional wrapped method. This time I did not use foam or casted heads, but instead built them with clay and woodwool. This was a bit of an experiment, but I am quite happy with the results for a standard ebay mount. For a more professional mount for a competition or art gallery, I would probably make sure to use the original skull, or make a cast.

Champagne coloured rat
The first rat was a young, champagne coloured rat. I really like his colour! Below is a hooded rat, that I don't think turned out as well, but still an improvement on my earlier rats!

Hooded rat
Here are the rats together! The champagne rat stands up on his hind legs :)
I am going to make a follow-up post to this showing my process of wrapping bodies. I will have photos of the full process including skinning, wrapping and mounting in my future e-book on mounting rats and mice.

I am also working on some mouse 'rugs', with multimammate mice. These mice are LARGE, the size of small rats! These are beautiful white and grey coloured, and I hope to also get some mounted this week.

Here is a WIP rug, it needs to be mounted on felt still:

Please keep an eye on this blog for the future blog about wrapping small animal bodies! :)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Upcoming Taxidermy Seminars

The Guild of Taxidermists are holding two seminars this year. These are as follows:

September 15th 2012, Sutton bonington campus , Loughbrough
Contact Rob marshall (rob@thetaxidermist.co.uk ) 07790831987
or steve Newcombe ( newfarbulls@yahoo.co.uk )

Programme: Unknown as of yet, trying to find out
October 27th 2012, Lancashire conservation studios ,St.Marys street. Preston.
Contact James Dickinson (James.Dickinson@lancashire.gov.uk)
Tel 01772530213 ( monday, tuesday or wednesday office hours only )

Making your own Plastic eyes by James Dickinson
Making replica "flesh on" skulls by wax dipping by Dave Astley
Sculpting a squirrel head by Mike Gadd"

All members of the Guild of Taxidermists have a wonderful opportunity to learn from the UK masters! There is a £5.00 fee for the one day seminars.

I am not sure if non-members can attend, I have emailed Rob to find out.

The Guild of Taxidermists is the only officially recognised organisation actively working with the legislative authorities to secure the future for legitimate taxidermy in the UK.

You should not commission ANY UK taxidermist who is NOT a member of the G.O.T.!

Website: http://www.taxidermy.org.uk/

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Alum Tanning and New Blog

Today I made a new alum tan/pickle as my previous one was unsuccessful; the skins didn't tan  - they seemed to just be stuck in a suspended state of preservation. After asking a taxidermist I know for exact measurements he told me:

2 pounds salt
1 1/2 pounds alum
1 pound borax

All dissolved in hot water, and then left to cool.

Well, my mixture has been made, and I have stirring it every now and then to help all the powders dissolve before the water goes cool. Hopefully it will all dissolve and go cool by tonight, and I will then put the pelts back in. If this doesn't work, back to the white tan!

Apart from this, I haven't been working much on taxidermy things this week as I was at home the weekend and also have been working on commissioned artwork.

I have a new blog for my pagan and fantasy artwork here: http://foxtrailart.blogspot.co.uk/

I will be posting sketches, commission slots, tutorials, photos and all that good stuff on there! Be sure to follow if you are interested in that kind of artwork :)

Tomorrow I will be preparing some rats for a client, and also working on some mice for another client. They want them hanging dead for some owls, so that will be interesting! They are house mice by the look of it, I have only ever mounted their domestic counterparts so I am hoping I can pull them off.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Always learning

Beware this is a picture heavy post!!

So I have been pretty busy on the taxidermy front once again! I currently (still) have no internet but before my phone internet decided to fizzle out, I spent hours a day on the taxidermy.net forums. In particular a certain thread 'Lifesize mammals only'. I learned a LOT about the wrapping of specimens from their carcasses. I applied this knowledge to my taxidermy and am already seeing results!

A Least Weasel and a Domestic rat, both wrapped, and both sleeping.
The weasel was originally going to just be standing but I noticed an unfortunate furslip on the underside of him after I had mounted him. So now I have a new plan, I'll post it here in a few weeks when the weasel mount is completed :) The weasel is mounted on a woodwool and wire form, using a casted head and the original leg bones.

Two mice for an art installation.
Once again I have been working on mice for a client, for her art installation. These are mounted on clay forms while it is still wet, and then sculpted from the outside.

Close up of the WIP weasel.
I am a lot happier with the shape of the weasel's head than my previous one (which was a soft mount). All my moulding and casting materials arrived, so I have been using them to make heads. They are so worth it! I will be doing a step by step on how to cast heads in the future! The weasel still needs painting up and such, but overall I am very happy.

Mannikin for a fox cub, WIP

I am also in the process of making a mannikin for a fox cub, as seen above. The skin is soaking in denatured alcohol for about a week, this sets the hair.This is being made with woodwool. The head is cast in plaster and the original leg bones are going to be used. I am still fiddling around with the pose I want her in. Today I found this photo on Google.com:

I think something like this would be a cute pose for her! This cub is about the same size as my cub also. At the moment the mannikin is a bit all over the place as you can see from the mess below:

WIP mannikin: legs need to be wrapped, along with the tail.
I will take photos of my progress, this is my first fox mount, so I really hope that it will go well! I have another young cub (even younger, poor thing) in the freezer so I will probably mount that one in a sleeping pose also.

Empty coffee mug, need more coffee!!!
Lastly, I wanted to mention this amazing book by Mike Gadd, one of the UK's leading taxidermists that I purchased recently. I was a bit put off at the price, but it is very VERY worth it. It has anything you could even want to know about mounting a small mammal on a wrapped form. It goes into the anatomical details, troubleshooting, materials needed, importance of reference etc etc etc and there are photos for every single step of the way! PLUS it is nice to have a book aimed at the UK taxidermists, and not US. So the materials he mentions are obtainable! :)

Expensive but well worth saving up for! And besides, it is a lot cheaper than his courses.

That's it for now! I will update again soon, and as always, if you have any questions for me, you can email me at: foxtrailtaxidermy@hotmail.co.uk