Doing the 31 Days of Vulture Culture meme! With the bonus of pictures from my collection every day. 😀
1) How did you start collecting bones/doing taxidermy/liking dead stuff?
As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by taxidermy on multiple levels. First it was on a scientific curiosity level – these were animals that I would never see up close in person. In zoos, I don’t know if it’s just my timing or what, but the animals are almost NEVER are where they’re convenient to see from the viewing areas when I go. So unless I bring binoculars or a camera with a good zoom (which I have NEVER owned), I don’t get a chance to really SEE these animals alive except on TV. So I’ve always been thankful for the art of taxidermy for the preservation of creatures that I would never get to see (or even touch!) in any other way.
Secondly, my interest is on a spiritual level. Last year I even did a 4 part blog series called Skin Spirits in the Public Eye that dealt with this aspect of my interest in all things dead and animal. I highly suggest reading it if you’re interested in that aspect of my interest and participation in vulture culture.
Finally my interest is on a purely scientific level. I like to touch and manipulate things to help me learn more about them. I’ve learned and registered more about nature from the preserved bits of dead creatures than I have from books and classes combined.
As for how I actually STARTED collecting, the pictures are of the first bits of my collection. Two rabbit pelts that I bought at my local Tandy Leather shop while I was there with a friend who was getting leather punches for some of her work. The pelt on the left was such a perfect representation of my long dead pet rabbit, Jack’s, pelt color that I bought it as kind of a memorial to him. The charcoal pelt was just beautiful and attracted me on a purely aesthetic level (folded in half, that pelt now protects the delicate feathers that I have as part of my collection).
Then there’s my whitetailed deer skin bound journal that I bought at the Renaissance Faire here in Orange County a few years back from Under The Mango Tree / The Journal Guy. It was the only one wrapped in fur-on leather, and it spoke to me in a way that no other journal on their extensive display did. I still have it and use it to document special communications from and with my skin spirits. The tiger eye based pendulum that’s tied around it’s closure was also bought at the same Faire. A year before the Faire, I’d lost my 61 year old aunt. She loved hummingbirds – there’s even one on her grave stone. I was playing with the pendulum and saw that one with a tiny hummingbird on the handle end – and that was it. I had to buy it.
The other picture is “Ancient,” the first Coyote skull I ever owned.He’s missing most of his teeth and the wear on the back teeth marks him as having been a very old coyote, and after he sat on my desk for a few months, his name became fairly apparent. He still holds a respected place among my skulls.
And that’s it for how I got started!