My expert, Joanna Ebenstein, will only be available for a chat in early March.
However, I did find a new case study: I met with a classmate of mine Zoe Logan, who’s an artist that is involved in amateur taxidermy and also an amateur tattoo artist.
Zoe says that the two interests are intertwined for her, and they also came at the same time. She was working as a pastry chef in a restaurant and one day she noticed they were getting rid of pig skins. She asked to take one home and had decided to tattoo an illustration on it, as a gift for a friend. She got a tattoo starter kit and made this gift. Later on she made more tattooed skins and started taking taxidermy classes at Morbid anatomy/Observatory.
Zoe has pet rat and rabbit, and she says she would never taxidermy any of her own pets. She thinks it’s creepy, too painful to look at and also that the pets never look like themselves. She does feel that she has a close relationship with the type of animals she took apart because she has these type of pets.
“It was gross. Once it’s dead it’s less upsetting… but I’m still like… thinking… please don’t haunt me! ”
Zoe 3D printed skulls and she says the “Memento Mori” effect works with those as well. Another memento for her is her own wisdom teeth.
Because both the tattoo world and the taxidermy world are very serious about apprenticing and hierarchy, Zoe doesn’t do any of them for money professionally.
She only does work for herself and for herself, which makes her a very interesting case, in my mind. The only animals Zoe worked on died a natural death. She told me about her feeling when working on a taxidermy cat, mice and a pigeon.