So while cleaning out the shed, we found this little metal shelving unit that my grandfather had in his shoe shop. It had a bunch of quick rivets, eyelets, snaps, shoe tacks and other leather hardware and shoe stuff in the drawers. But it was really rusty and not a very attractive shade of green (in my opinion, at any rate).

So I decided to clean it up and refinish it. =) It’s now rust free and a nice apple red. The contents of the drawers have been filtered so anything too rusty or otherwise unusable is gone, and the rest nicely organized.

Also took the opportunity today to organize my outdoor work space. Look at all the stuff I haven’t finished, ahaha. There’s Freddy’s form (still slowly modifying it to fit him), the coyote shoulder form, the lamb (which I finally figured out how I’d like to finish!), the opossum, and some skulls. And a skeleton lawn gnome I’m fixing for my Dad on the small table, hidden behind the paper towel.

Sorry neighbors, I bet explaining the house with the skeletons on the porch is fun when your church group comes over.

Not quite dead things related, but I figured I’d share anyway.



Wolf Skull Processing: Kotzebue, Alaska

I’ve had wolf skulls sitting in water for the past couple days in my backyard. My buddy got them in Kotzebue and is storing them at my place. Today we pulled them out to find that they were encased in an ice cylinder. This is perfect because they were thawed enough to work with but weren’t in the slightest smelly.

So after checking out the hollow inside and seeing their eyes, we cracked open the ice container with a hammer and got the skulls out. We were mostly focused on removing the temporal and masseter muscles along with the tongue. One of my first cuts was going to the skull through the temporal muscle. It’s obvious with the depth of the muscle as to why these animals need sagittal crests.  

Finally I got the toungue out and inverted it some to expose a rough back portion of the tongue which looks like something that would be expected out of a cat. The cut trachea is also inverted. With much effort, the mandible was not completely disarticulated but was loosened up greatly exposing the palate and offering a better look at the dentition.

The wolves are now each in their own bucket and will be macerating for roughly a month before their progress is checked.



Rare Maned Lionesses Explained

On the right is a female with a big bushy mane, from the Mombo area in the Okavango Delta. At the bottom right she is standing next to the male of the pride and you can see she is smaller with more feminine lines. Apparently the lions in this area carry a genetic disposition toward this phenomenon. More details here:

via Isak Pretorius


Anonymous asked:

what kind of sick person collects animal skins?! you disgust me!

blackbackedjackal answered:

The kind of ‘sick’ person who knows the truth about the fur trade

The kind of person who recognizes the dedication and talent it takes to be involved with working with animal parts.

The kind of person who isn’t blind to the scandals and slander used to sully the names of hunters, trappers, and fur farmers.

The kind of person who’s frequently inspired by and uses these animals in her artwork.

The kind of person who respects these animals and is happy they’ll be remembered as natural wonders in her collection.

The kind of person who’s willing to educate and share her love for animals.