We frequently host beginner taxidermy classes at the Barts Pathology Museum. Along the lines of a 'Knit & Natter' afternoon, we named the class "Stuff & Nonsense" as the classes are fun and informal and you have a chance to chat as you go about creating your piece.
The classes are taught by Amanda Sutton of Amanda's Autopsies, a taxidermist who has created pieces for Ted Baker and exhibited at The Florence Nightingale Museum and Bexley Hall.
Amanda has mainly been influenced by Walter Potter, who was one of the first to clothe preserved animals in costumes. When the Potter collection was split up and sold on to private collectors a few years back, Amanda wanted to recreate some of the pieces herself as most of the collection would never be seen by the public again.
She now creates generic taxidermy, jewellery, wet specimens and steampunk themed pieces on commission as a self-funding hobby, and occasionally performs live taxidermy for educational purposes.
Amanda doesn't use animals that were killed for taxidermy; she uses reptile feed, road kill and animals that died naturally, and carries out taxidermy to preserve the beauty of the animal. In the case of reptile feed, this is purchased from Simons Rodents. Email address: email@example.com. Telephone: 01767 651872. Their frozen food contains on the label a Defra approval no 05-381-0033 IP.
Amanda is also a follower of The British Historical Taxidermy Society, who help museums keep their collections in good condition and on display, rather than being neglected from lack of funds. She believes that taxidermy is an important part of learning and that antique taxidermy should be treasured for future generations.
Taxidermy - Photo Courtesy of P.G.W. Smith
The classes start at 12:30pm, although we ask that you arrive from 12:00 midday for a prompt start. They usually last until around 5pm but there is a refreshment break half-way through and we provide you with sandwiches, crisps and hot or cold drinks. Equipment and animals are provided and we usually give out a prize for the best piece. All this costs just £50, plus booking fee.
Further course information is provided to the booked attendees via e-mail.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org – to be added to the mailing list. Our taxidermy classes sell out very quickly so do make sure you're on the list!